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What is the Guillain-Barre syndrome?

According Afssaps, this syndrome can both be caused by influenza and vaccination against influenza
According Afssaps, this syndrome can both be caused by influenza and vaccination against influenza
 

What is the Guillain-Barre syndrome? It is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that attacks the nervous system and causes damage. This is a relatively rare disease that can occur at any age, regardless of gender.

What are the symptoms? Symptoms may be mild (tingling, loss of sensation, tachycardia, headache) or may result in having more serious disorders such as complete paralysis. Diagnosis is made mostly by lumbar puncture or electromyogram. It is a potentially serious disease: The contagiousness of this syndrome has not been demonstrated.

What causes this disease? The exact cause of this disease is unknown. But according to experts, the occurrence of Guillain-Barre is preceded in 60 to 70% of cases by acute viral or bacterial respiratory or gastrointestinal tract infection. Influenza, hepatitis, measles or mononucleosis are considered as possible risk factors.

What is the relationship with the vaccine against influenza A? This disease can both be caused by influenza and vaccination against influenza. But the flu itself further increases the risk of Guillain-Barre. Indeed, most studies do not show any increased risk of contracting it by being vaccinated.

Thus, it would be 4 to 7 cases in 100,000 carriers of influenza, while the risk from the vaccine would reach one case per million vaccinated. In 1976 45 million Americans were vaccinated against swine flu. Nearly 500 of them had developed a Guillain-Barre syndrome. 25 died.

To date, no cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome associated with vaccination against influenza A has been identified worldwide.

 
 
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