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Business News/ News / World/  What is Guillain-Barre syndrome? All you need to know as Peru declares national emergency amid surge in cases
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What is Guillain-Barre syndrome? All you need to know as Peru declares national emergency amid surge in cases

Peru declares national emergency as Guillain-Barré syndrome cases surge. The neurological ailment causes immune system to attack nerves, leading to paralysis.

At least 18 of the country's departments reported one or more cases. (Photo via Pixabay)Premium
At least 18 of the country's departments reported one or more cases. (Photo via Pixabay)

Peru has declared a state of national emergency amid a surge in patient suffering from Guillain-Barré syndrome. The neurological ailment prompts the body's immune system to mistakenly attack nerves - sometimes leading to paralysis. Officials have cited an “unusual increase" in cases while imposing the 90 day sanitary emergency. At least 18 of the country's departments reported one or more cases.

The spike in cases have also triggered concerns about a strain on health services. As the official statement put it, the growing caseload “negatively affects the continuity of health services as there are not enough strategic resources to respond to the volume and complexity of the cases in health facilities".

The emergency declaration was first requested by Health Minister César Vásquez last week who noted that an increase in the caseload could mean “a lack of immunoglobulin". Intravenous immunoglobulin is used as a standard treatment in non-ambulant patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome. People with an IgG deficiency are incidentally more susceptible to infections. 

ALSO READ: El Nino rains behind Peru's worst dengue outbreak ever

The Peruvian decree published on Saturday also details an action plan drawn up with a budget of 12.12 million soles. According to a report by the Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency, it aims to improve patient care in health facilities, reinforce case control and prepare informative material for the population and health personnel.

What is Guillain-Barré syndrome?

According to the US NIH website, GBS is a rare neurological disorder in which your immune system mistakenly attacks part of the peripheral nervous system—the network of nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord. It is not contagious or inherited and its exact cause remains unknown.

GBS can range from mild cases with brief weakness to nearly devastating paralysis that leaves people unable to breathe independently. 

“The weakness seen in GBS usually comes on quickly and worsens over hours or days. Most people reach the greatest stage of weakness within the first two weeks after symptoms appear. By the third week 90% of affected individuals are at their weakest," the NIH website explains. 

While there is no known cure for Guillain-Barré syndrome, some therapies can help lessen the severity of the illness and shorten recovery time. There are also several ways to treat the complications of the disease.

 

 

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Published: 10 Jul 2023, 07:07 PM IST
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