A former Hollyoaks star says the Zika virus might be the reason she’s been confined to a wheelchair for almost a decade.
Kelly-Marie Stewart also said this week that Zika may be to blame for a miscarriage she had.
Stewart traveled to the Dominican Republic nine years ago. Shortly after returning, she was told she had miscarried—and was also diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, losing the use of her legs.
“I went on holiday for two weeks and while there I came down with flu symptoms, I was aching all over. I put it down to picking up a bug, but I was covered from head to toe in mosquito bites—I looked like a Lion bar,” she told the Liverpool Echo.
Days later, the actress said she felt like she was “walking on sponge.”
“I got in the car that night and I thought there was something up with my car, I felt I wasn’t gauging speed.”
When she went to the hospital, tests revealed she had little feeling in her legs. She was also moved to a side room because of recently being in the Dominican Republic. She ended up in the hospital for 10 months.
She’s made great progress since then, starring in the soap and having her first child, but she wants to warn others to not travel abroad while pregnant.
“I’d urge anyone planning to conceive or who is pregnant to think twice before travelling to countries affected,” she said.
“As a family we were always asked how do you get Guillain-Barré and no one had an answer. I was fit and well before I went to the Dominican, but I only met one other person who had it and she was also an air hostess—I thought it’s surely got to be something to do with going to these countries? This is too much of a coincidence.”