Viral Infection That Causes Paralysis
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Viral Infection That Causes Paralysis

Guillain-Barre syndrome is a serious disorder that occurs when the body's defense system attacks in self. It is an autoimmune disorder.

Guillan Barre Syndrome is a rare condition, but for those few who get the infection,  it is one of those devastating, paralysing condition that without proper and faster intervention, death is almost imminent within few weeks after the infection.

In rare cases, do people suffering from a viral infection seek medical advice. This is because viral infections are self limiting and how fast or how long it takes to  heal, depends on the victim's immunity and support system available during the time of sickness. Most people are not aware that a simple gastrointestinal or upper respiratory infection can lead to paralysis or even death.

Guillan Barre Syndrome is such a condition that occurs after a gastrointestinal or upper respiratory viral infections.  Most of the time, the signs of original infections has disappeard before the symptoms of Guillan Barre Syndrome begin. The infections triggers an auto immune reaction; whereby the body immune system attacks itself leading to damage to myelin sheath of peripheral nervous system and gradually leading to devastating paralysis. It can also be preceded by an epstein viral infection.

It is a gradually progressive disease and the first signs and symptoms that the victim may notice is progressive weakness of extremities and facial muscles. With time as the infection progresses, other symptoms may include under activity or overactivity of the SNS or PNS causing changes in heart rate and BP, intense pain in the shoulders and thighs, loss of position senses and deep tendon reflexes and lower extremities paralysis. The patient may also experience neurological symptoms like parethesia.

This is an ascending paralysis that ascends upwards. If timely intervention is not done, it is a very serious condition because once the paralysis reaches the chest area, it attacks the diaphragm and other breathing muscles leading to respiratory problem or respiratory arrest. In such cases, respiratotry support like mechanical ventilator is necessary, otherwise, the breathing becomes impossibe and death is imminent.

As with most viral infections, there is no available cure for the condition and treatment is geared towards minimizing the spread of infection. The treatment option that is used is plasmapheresis (removal of circulating antibodies in the blood). This is a very expensive prodecure that only a few can afford and still it doesn't guarantee 100% cure. The best thing we can do to prevent this condition is timely seeking of medical advice after a viral infection.

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Comments (17)

Well composed valuable information.

Thanks for sharing this very important and valuable information...voted

Very well done . . . voted up

Valuable information. voted up

Valuable info indeed. But this kind of scares me...

Sorry if it scares you. Let us pray and hope that it won't happen to any of us. It is really a serious condition.

Scary, but good information to know. Voted.

Great and informative...well done

Coming back to again read your facts.

Outstanding article.

Informative. Voted up.

Very detailed and informative share on a very important medical topic. Thanks for sharing this information. Voted up

Very informative and well written... Thanks

I have to agree with the others, it is a bit worrying to think it can go so far, but as you say, let's hope it does not happen.

well written. thanks for the info.

Excellent article.

Very well-written. Thanks for sharing.