Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a rare neurological disorder that affects the body’s immune system. It is believed to be triggered by an infection, such as a respiratory or gastrointestinal infection. GBS can cause muscle weakness and paralysis, which can progress rapidly and potentially lead to paralysis of respiratory and facial muscles within a few days. The exact cause of GBS is unknown, but it is thought to involve an abnormal immune response to the infection.
In Peru, there has been a concerning increase in GBS cases since January, prompting the government to declare a health emergency. The decision was made to address this situation, which poses a risk to public health. The death toll from GBS has already reached four, and the number of cases has exceeded 180 between January and July.
The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Higher Institute of Health (Ins), will be responsible for implementing an Action Plan to combat the increase in GBS cases. This plan includes measures such as epidemiological surveillance, investigation, and control of GBS cases. The aim is to provide adequate treatment for those affected and to closely monitor the execution of these activities.
Dr. Paolo Calabresi, director of the Complex Neurology Unit of the Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome, has analyzed the situation in Peru. He suggests that this increase in GBS cases could be related to a previous viral infection, such as the Zika virus or the Chikungunya virus, as these have been associated with GBS in other countries. Further research and investigation are needed to determine the exact cause of the increase in GBS cases in Peru.
Guillain-Barré syndrome can have severe complications, including respiratory failure and long-term muscle weakness. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial in managing the symptoms and preventing further progression of the disease. Therapies for GBS may include immunoglobulin therapy, plasma exchange, and supportive care to manage symptoms and prevent complications.
The health emergency declaration in Peru highlights the importance of addressing this increase in GBS cases as a public health concern. The government’s action plan, along with the support from healthcare professionals, aims to mitigate the impact of Guillain-Barré syndrome on the affected individuals and the overall population.