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Due to the unusual increase in cases of Guillain Barré syndrome (GBS), the Peru Government declared a national health emergency for a period of 90 calendar days, reported the minister of Health, César Vásquez.

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“So far we have controlled the disease. Guillain Barré appears every year and there has been a significant increase in recent weeks that forces us to take actions as a State to protect the health and life of the population, “said the head of the Ministry of Health (Minsa).

The minister explained that this declaration, approved yesterday by the Council of Ministers, will allow the purchase, through the National Center for the Supply of Strategic Health Resources (Cenares), immunoglobulin for the treatment of GBS patients for up to the next two years.

The decree contemplates the action plan that includes financing for the acquisition of goods and services for an amount greater than S/ 12 million. The minister recalled that plasmapheresis and immunoglobulin treatments are available in hospitals and institutes located in the regions of Piura, Cajamarca, La Libertad, Puno, Huánuco, Callao, Loreto, Áncash and Lima.

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“The regions are supplied with medicines, and for those that need we have started a redistribution while buying. As Minsa we are assuming the leadership that corresponds to us. We are sitting down with the regional authorities to see their budget execution, because the patients must have their proper treatment”, affirmed the minister.

To date, a total of 182 GBS cases have been reported. Of these, 31 patients are hospitalized and 147 have been discharged. Unfortunately, 4 deaths occurred in January, March and May.

This has prompted Minsa through the Infosalud Directorate, an organic unit of the General Directorate of Telehealth, Reference and Emergencies (Digtel), has the Information and Orientation Center Line 113 Health, option 2, to provide information or guidance on Guillain Barré syndrome (GBS) to the population.

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A staff of health professionals, who through the telephone line will guide citizens 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Guillain Barré syndrome is a rare disorder that affects the nervous system, beginning with movement of the legs, causing muscle weakness and in some cases paralysis. Its symptoms can last for weeks and most people make a full recovery, however, some patients are left with sequelae.

Symptoms usually start in both legs and then move up to the arms. They include weakness and a tingling sensation or loss of sensation.

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