Peru Declares National Health Emergency as Guillain-Barré Syndrome Cases Surge

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As per FirstPost, Peru has announced a 90-day state of public health emergency in response to an alarming surge in instances of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS). According to the German news source DW, over 150 persons in the nation have been diagnosed with this extremely rare neurological condition. The outbreak of GBS in Lima and four other Peruvian towns in 2019 prompted the government to proclaim a state of emergency.  

The immune system targets the peripheral nerves in Guillain-Barré Syndrome. When the peripheral nerves become inflamed, it becomes more difficult for them to send messages from the brain to the rest of the body. Although GBS is extremely rare, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that it can infect people of any age. Adult males are more prone than females to be impacted by this.  

GBS symptoms, according to the World Health Organization, frequently begin in the legs and progress to other regions of the body, including the arms and face. Other possible symptoms include difficulty walking, severe discomfort, and paralysis of the face, arm, and leg muscles. As the illness progresses, basic physiological actions such as speaking, eating, and defecating can become difficult for GBS sufferers. As a result, critical care units are regularly called upon to treat these patients.  

The majority of GBS patients report feeling their worst during the third week after their symptoms first manifest. However, by the fourth week, noticeable improvement is generally seen, indicating the beginning of the healing process. According to DW, it might take anywhere from six months to three years for some people to feel entirely recovered.  

Guillain-Barré Syndrome is often caused by an infection, although the specific etiology is uncertain. According to the CDC, nearly two-thirds of Americans diagnosed with GBS had a history of diarrhea or a respiratory infection in the weeks preceding the beginning of GBS symptoms. Symptoms usually appear three weeks after infection. Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) has been linked to infections with cytomegalovirus, Campylobacter jejuni bacteria, Epstein-Barr virus, Zika virus, and other viruses, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) has been related to the Zika virus.  

Despite their rarity, documented cases of GBS symptoms appearing after vaccination or surgery do occur. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of getting GBS after having the flu is greater than the risk of developing GBS after receiving a flu vaccination. The National Health Service in the United Kingdom predicts that one in every twenty persons diagnosed with GBS will die from it.  

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that persons with GBS be hospitalized so that they can be continuously monitored due to the severity of the infection. GBS patients are more likely to have complications such as cardiac arrhythmias, blood clots, infections, and low/high blood pressure. A ventilator may be required if you develop breathing issues.  

There are two cornerstones for treating Guillain-Barré disease. To begin, doctors can utilize plasma exchange or plasmapheresis, which involves taking blood from the patient in order to eliminate neurotoxic chemicals. According to the World Health Organization, symptoms should have lasted at least seven to fourteen days before beginning this medication. The second treatment, high-dose immunoglobulin, is injecting the patient with healthy antibodies obtained from blood donors. This process damages antibodies, which aids in the prevention of GBS spread.  

The NHS recommends occupational treatment and speech and language therapy to help people recover and avoid future problems. Peru has declared a public health emergency in response to the growing incidence of GBS infections and to guarantee that those afflicted have access to proper medical care and resources. 

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