Guillain-Barre syndrome breakout in Arizona

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Guillain-Barre syndrome breakout in Arizona

Postby rainer » Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:01 pm

Kind of interesting I thought. ... s-Illness/

SAN LUIS, Ariz. — An outbreak of a rare illness that can cause muscle weakness and paralysis has been reported in southwestern Arizona and a neighboring community in Mexico.

Seven cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome were reported in the Arizona communities of San Luis and Yuma. Another 17 case were found in and around San Luis Rio Colorado in the Mexican state of Sonora.

A Mexican man who had a pre-existing chronic condition died from the illness about three weeks ago.

Shoana Anderson, chief of infectious diseases at the Arizona Department of Health Services, said the outbreak is suspected to have been triggered by a foodborne illness known as campylobacter.

Guillain-Barre triggers the immune system to attack nerves. The illness isn't contagious. The paralysis is temporary, but patients can suffer nerve damage.

Patients in all 24 cases suffered varying degrees of paralysis.

Guillain-Barre isn't usually fatal, but it can cause death when a person's respiratory system becomes paralyzed and the patient's breathing isn't aided by a ventilator.

The number of cases has been slowing down, Anderson said.
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