The Peru Ministry of Health announced (computer translated) an investigation into a cluster of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) in the city of Trujillo in the La Libertad Region in the northwestern part of the country.

Image/Robert Herriman
Image/Robert Herriman

Eight cases of an acute neurological syndrome compatible with the Guillain-Barré syndrome has been reported between April 21 and May 1 at the Bethlehem Hospital in the city of Trujillo, three of them are in care intensive with assisted breathing. This has prompted officials to call on the public to go to the health facility if they feel sudden muscle weakness.

A team made up of experts from the National Center for Epidemiology, Prevention and Control of Diseases (CDC-Peru), the National Institute of Health (INS) and the National Institute of Neurological Sciences (INCN) of the Ministry of Health have been dispatched to Trujillo to carry out the epidemiological investigation.

In addition, an epidemiologist from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) will be accompanying.

According to officials, various types of tests will be performed. The tests will look for bacteria, respiratory viruses, enteroviruses and arboviruses such as dengue and Zika.

Guillain-Barré syndrome is a condition characterized by progressive muscle weakness from the bottom to the top of the body. “At the beginning the patient feels little strength in the legs, then in the arms and the moment can come when he can not walk or hold something with his hands, in some cases muscle paralysis can affect the respiratory muscles and the patient will need assisted breathing in an intensive care unit”, director of the National Center of Epidemiology, Prevention and Control of Diseases (CDC) of the MINSA, Dr. Luis Suárez Ognio said.