COVID-19 patients could develop Guillain-Barré syndrome

Neurologists have diagnosed two dozens cases in Mumbai


Patients in many countries have developed neurological symptoms after SARS-CoV-2 infection. 

Neurologists in Mumbai have found two dozens of COVID-19 patients suffering from Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Doctors have observed clinical symptoms like headache, vomiting, nausea, dizziness, myalgia, anosmia, ageusia, and disorder of consciousness in such patients. 

What is Guillain-Barré syndrome

Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a severe autoimmune disorder in which your body's immune system attacks your nerves.

Since the nerves in the peripheral nervous system get damaged, it could cause weakness, numbness, and tingling in your extremities, eventually leading to paralysis.

GBS is often preceded by an infection. GBS syndrome may also be triggered by vaccine administration or surgery.

Guillain-Barre syndrome is a medical emergency that needs hospitalisation. You should seek medical help if you have any of the early symptoms of GBS, such as numbness or weakness.

Though GBS is found more common in adults and males, it can affect people of all ages. Some people are left with long-term problems and can be life-threatening sometimes.

Patients with SARS-CoV-2-infection-related GBS usually experience significant weakness within two weeks after symptoms begin.

Mayo Clinic reports the following signs and symptoms associated with GBS:

  • Prickling, pins and needles sensations in your fingers, toes, ankles or wrists
  • Weakness in your legs that spreads to your upper body
  • Unsteady walking or inability to walk or climb stairs
  • Difficulty with facial movements, including speaking, chewing or swallowing
  • Double vision or inability to move eyes
  • Severe pain that may feel achy, shooting or cramp-like and may be worse at night
  • Difficulty with bladder control or bowel function
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Low or high blood pressure
  • Difficulty breathing

Most patients recover fully from even the most severe cases of GBS after a few weeks of medical care.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the mortality rate is 4 to 7 per cent. Between 60-80 per cent of people can walk in six months.