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Three develop rare nerve disorder after contracting ZIKV in Colombia, die

Published:Saturday | February 6, 2016 | 2:44 PM
This January 2016 microscope image provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the Zika virus.

Health authorities in Colombia say three persons have died after contracting the Zika virus and developing a rare nerve disorder.

The head of Colombia's National Health Institute, Martha Lucia Ospina says six other deaths are being investigated for possible links to the virus.

Colombia’s Health Minister Alejandro Gaviria says doctors believe there was a causal connection between ZIKV, the Guillain-Barre disorder and the three deaths.

Guillain-Barre is a rare disorder which causes the body's immune system to attack parts of the nervous system and is usually non-fatal.

Scientists in Brazil are also reporting that for the first time they have detected active samples of the Zika virus in urine and saliva, but it is still unclear whether it can be transmitted through bodily fluids.