Peru’s Health Emergency: Rising Guillain-Barré Syndrome Cases and Recognizing the Signs

What is Guillain-Barré Syndrome?​

Guillain-Barré Syndrome is an uncommon condition where the immune system mistakenly targets the body’s nerves. This disorder is significant and necessitates prompt hospitalization due to its potential for rapid deterioration in the patient’s health.

Surge in Guillain-Barré Syndrome Cases in Peru

In response to a significant surge in Guillain-Barré Syndrome cases, a rare neurological disorder, the Peruvian government has declared a 90-day nationwide health emergency starting from July 8. Authorities are taking action to address the “unusual increase” in cases and ensure public health and safety.

According to the MercoPress news agency, a total of 182 cases have been reported across Peru since June 2023. Out of these cases, 147 individuals have been discharged, while 31 individuals are currently hospitalized. Regrettably, four individuals have lost their lives due to the virus.

​Why Sudden Surge in Cases?​

In response to a plea from Peru’s Health Minister, César Vásquez, for urgent action due to a potential shortage of antibodies, a health emergency has been declared. Minister Vásquez raised concerns over a rising number of cases, highlighting the possibility of inadequate supplies of immunoglobulin, which is essential for combating infections.

While the precise etiology of Guillain-Barre syndrome remains unclear, a significant proportion of individuals affected by this disorder have reported experiencing symptoms of an infection within the six weeks prior to onset. These infections can be of bacterial or viral origin and encompass a range of conditions such as COVID-19, respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infections, and even the Zika virus.

Strategies for Addressing the Condition in Peru

In an official decree issued by President Dina Boluarte of Peru, a substantial sum of approximately US$ 3.27 million has been designated for the purpose of enhancing patient care, strengthening measures to control the number of detections, and preparing comprehensive reports for both the population and healthcare professionals.

While a definitive cure for Guillain-Barre syndrome remains elusive, treatment options are available to aid in symptom management and alleviate the severity and duration of the illness.

Signs Indicative of The Presence of The Condition

Health experts have identified the initial indications of Guillain-Barré Syndrome as muscle weakness and tingling sensations in the hands and feet. This condition hampers the ability of nerves to transmit specific information, such as touch sensations, to the spinal cord and brain. Consequently, a sense of numbness may be experienced. Moreover, the impairment in signal transmission from the brain and spinal cord to the body can result in muscle weakness. Additional symptoms encompass challenges in speech, chewing, and swallowing, along with a rapid heart rate, fluctuating blood pressure, and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, paralysis and even fatality can occur.

What is The Typical Duration of Recovery?

According to health experts, the majority of patients typically exhibit signs of improvement within a span of 2-3 weeks. However, in certain cases, the process of complete recovery might extend over a few years. While some individuals manage to fully recover from the illness, a small number of patients may experience lasting nerve damage.


Peru is facing a health emergency as cases of Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a rare neurological disorder, have surged. The government has declared a 90-day emergency to address the situation and protect public health. Since June 2023, Peru has reported 182 cases, with efforts underway to provide proper medical care and control the spread of the syndrome. Guillain-Barré Syndrome is an autoimmune condition where the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s nerves, leading to rapid deterioration in the patient’s health. Prompt hospitalization is crucial, and while most patients show signs of improvement within a few weeks, some may require years to fully recover, while others may experience permanent nerve damage.

Anusha Aggarwal

My name is Anusha Aggarwal. With a deep fascination for the science behind health, hair care, skin care, and body care, I'm a dedicated writer committed to helping readers achieve optimal wellness. Through years of research and personal experience, I provide expert insights into the latest trends and techniques in the beauty and wellness.