So far, Millions of patients have recovered from COVID-19, but their ordeal doesn’t end there. Due to the impact of the infection, individuals often develop permanent side effects like lung fibrosis, diabetes, heart-related ailments among others.
In recent times, city-doctors are witnessing a rising number of Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) cases which can even be life-threatening if the patient isn’t related on time.
What is Guillain-Barre syndrome?
GBS is considered as the prototype of post-infectious neuropathy which is usually developed within two or four weeks after an acute infection. It is mainly observed in the last stage of COVID-19 recovery or among completely recovered patients.
This autoimmune disorder is often confused with stroke due to similar symptoms. For instance, patients with GBS report facial muscle weakness, shortness of breath, slow reflexes, fatigue, high blood pressure among others. But as per doctors, GBS is more dangerous than strokes. The GBS is not an uncommon neurological disease.
Patients of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome had shown GBS symptoms in the past. Patients infected with Zika, HIV, Herpes virus and Campylobacter Jejuni had also shown symptoms.
What do doctors say?
Dr Pankaj Agarwal, senior consultant, neurology, head of movement disorders clinic, Global Hospital, Parel said, “So far I have treated two GBS patients, moreover it is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system that is supposed to protect us, starts destroying us. It mistakenly starts attacking the nerves of our hands and legs, leading to sudden paralysis,”
Ongoing study in India
Pune neurologists have recorded almost 15 COVID-19 patients affected by rare temporary paralysis - Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS).
As per the report by ToI, out of 15 cases in Pune, two patients died due to the complications due to pre-existing health conditions.
Even in Mumbai over 24 COVID-19 patients were reported to be affected by GBS.
Now, to establish a correlation between COVID-19 and GBS, several Mumbai-neurologists have come together to conduct a ‘first-of-its-kind’ study in India.
(With inputs from Swapnil Mishra of FPJ)