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Latino Daily News

Sunday July 31, 2011

Rare Paralyzing Infection Affecting Residents of Arizona-Mexico Border

Rare Paralyzing Infection Affecting Residents of Arizona-Mexico Border

Photo: Rare Guillain-Barre Affect Arizona-Mexico border

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Health officials on both side of the Arizona-Mexico border are on high alert for the cause of a rare but paralyzing condition that has affected a small community of people.

The rare condition known as the Guillain-Barre Syndrome typically is linked to bacterially infected water or food and on average only affects one in 100,000 individuals.

In the Arizona border community of Yuma County state officials are reporting 7 cases and the neighboring town of San Luis Rio Colorado in Mexico is reporting 17 cases.  The condition causes muscle weakness, numbness and in some cases can result in paralysis and death.

Health investigators are looking at travel patterns and foods consumed at large gatherings while initiating educational outreach to local residents.  Arizona health officials have asked local medical professionals to be on the look out for signs of Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

Officials recognize that it is highly unusual to have 24 cases reported in a small geographic area and are hopeful that it is a contained situation.