LIMA: The Peruvian government declared a 90-day national health emergency Saturday due to an “unusual increase” of cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, which total 165 with four deaths, reported Xinhua.

The decree, published in the official gazette El Peruano, details an action plan which has been drawn up with a budget of 12.12 million soles (US$3.3 million) with an aim to improve patient care in health facilities, reinforce case control and prepare informative material for the population and health personnel.

Among the measures were the acquisition of intravenous immunoglobulin and human albumin, as well as specialised diagnosis of the biological agents associated with the syndrome and assisted air transport for patients in emergency or critical condition.

Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare disorder where the body’s immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system.

So far this year, at least 18 of the country’s 24 departments have reported at least one case of the syndrome.

The unusual spike in cases of a rare disease in a short period of time “negatively affects the continuity of health services, as there are not enough strategic resources to respond to the volume and complexity of the cases in health facilities,“ warned the decree.

Health Minister Cesar Vasquez requested the emergency declaration on Wednesday before the Council of Ministers, noting that “if the number of cases increases, there could be a lack of immunoglobulin.” - Bernama

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