Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Why did Peru declare ‘A State of Emergency'(Guillain-Barré Syndrome)?

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Peru will be in a 90-day state of emergency due to an unnatural spike of Guillain-Barré Syndrome cases. The rare disorder that makes the immune system attacks the nerves leading to paralysis. The Health Minister of Peru, Cesar Vasquez, asked for the declaration of an emergency to restrict the number of cases and prevent a shortage of immunoglobulin or antibodies.

What is Guillain-Barré Syndrome?

What is Guillain-Barre syndrome? The rare neurological disorder declared as health emergency in Peru - India Today
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Guillain-Barré syndrome or GBS is a neurological disorder. This rare disorder makes the immune system attack parts of the nervous system. It mainly attacks the peripheral network of nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. GBS cases range from mild, where only weakness is felt, to paralysis which makes the patient unable to independently.

However, most patients are able to recover from the most severe cases of GBS eventually. Although some patients will continue to feel weakness. Reports state that GBS affects 1 person in 100,000 each year. GBS is neither contagious nor inherited.

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The intensity of GBS increases over a period of hours, days, or weeks. It continues till certain muscles cannot be used by the patient. Thus, the patient becomes almost totally paralyzed with an inability to breathe independently. In such instances, the disorder leads to a life-threatening situation. 

Peru declares national emergency over rising cases of Guillain Barre Syndrome: Details
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The major symptom of GBS is weakness. It usually comes on quickly and worsens over hours or days on both sides of the body. Usually, it spreads all over the body to the greatest extent in the first two weeks after symptoms appear. By the 3rd week, 90% of patients are at their weakest. Another symptom is the change in perception of input from sensory assimilation. This is caused by the damage to the neural network. Difficulty with vision, swallowing, speaking, and chewing are also symptoms of GBS. Abnormal heartbeat or blood pressure are also indicators of GBS.

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Spike and Speculations of GBS Cases in Peru  

The official gazette of the Republic of Peru characterized the rise in GBS cases as an unusual event. Till 23rd June 2023, 103 cases of the syndrome were reported. However, the national average of 20 cases per month was exceeded in June. 2-8 cases were reported weekly. 

Some people speculate that this spike is a residual effect of Covid-19. Covid-19 left the neuro system and the immune system compromised. Thus, they assume it can be a major factor contributing to the spike in the numbers. These speculations remain unverified as the disorder is still being researched and there are no affirmatively known causes.

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