Peru declares health emergency over Guillain-Barre syndrome. What is it?
Peru has declared a 90-day national health emergency due to a spike in cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare neurological disorder.
Peru on Monday declared a 90-day national health emergency after a massive spike in cases of a rare neurological disorder - the Guillain-Barre syndrome. According to reports, the country has seen an unusual increase of 165 cases, while four people have died due to the disorder. Peru had also issued an alert on June 27 regarding the increasing cases, said reports.
What is Guillain-Barre syndrome?
The Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare neurological disorder in which the body's immune system attacks the nerves. It starts with a tingling sensation and weakness in the hands and feet, and can quickly spread further - ending up paralyzing the body. Most people with this condition need to be hospitalised for the treatment.
While the exact cause of the disorder is not yet known, reports suggested that two-thirds of patients saw symptoms of an infection - Covid-19 or gastrointestinal infection or Zika virus - in the six weeks preceding.
Symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome
- Tingling sensation in fingers, toes, ankles, wrists, or sometimes even arms and face.
- Weakness in legs that spreads to the upper body. In some cases, inability to walk or climb stairs.
- Difficulty with facial movements - speaking, chewing, or swallowing, double vision, or inability to move eyes.
- Severe pain that may feel achy, shooting, or cramp-like and is likely to get worse at night.
- Difficulty with bladder control and bowel function, rapid heart rate, low or high blood pressure, and difficulty breathing.
- The most severe cases are likely to end up in paralysis.
Types of Guillain-Barre syndrome
The Guillain-Barre syndrome has three forms - acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (AIDP), Miller Fisher syndrome, and acute motor axonal neuropathy.
Acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (AIDP) is the most common form found in North America and Europe. The most common sign of this form is muscle weakness that starts in the lower body and spreads to the upper body.
In Miller Fisher syndrome (MFS), the paralysis starts with the eyes. This syndrome is less common in the US, and more common in Asia. Meanwhile, the acute motor axonal neuropathy is more common in China, Japan, and Mexico.