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A Backgrounder on Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS)

The CDC just released a Guillain-Barré syndrome fact sheet and addresses how they will be closely monitoring the safety of the 2009 H1N1 vaccine in relation to this illness. In 2003 The Institute of Medicine (IOM) conducted a thorough scientific review and concluded that people who received the 1976 swine influenza vaccine had a slight increased risk for developing GBS.

"GBS is a rare disorder in which a person’s own immune system damages the nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis. GBS can cause symptoms that last for a few weeks or several months. Most people recover fully from GBS, but some people have permanent nerve damage. In rare cases, people have died of GBS, usually from difficulty with breathing. In the United States, for example, an estimated 3,000 to 6,000 people develop GBS each year on average, whether or not they received a vaccination. This is about 1 to 2 cases of GBS per 100,000 people."

Click "source" for the fact sheet.
 
 

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