Did Peru announce a health emergency after the COVID-19 vaccine caused an explosion of Guillain-Barré syndrome cases?!
Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : Guillain-Barré syndrome emergency in Peru is due to vaccine!
Many people are sharing articles, or posting messages on social media, claiming that Peru just announced a health emergency after the COVID-19 vaccine caused an explosion of Guillain-Barré syndrome cases!
Here is an excerpt from an article posted by The People’s Voice (formerly NewsPunch)
Peru Announces Health Emergency After Explosion of ‘Vaccine Side-Effect’ Guillain-Barre Syndrome
The Peruvian government has declared a 90-day national state of emergency due to an explosion of cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, according to local reports.
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Truth : Guillain-Barré syndrome emergency in Peru is NOT due to vaccine!
This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created and spread by anti-vaccination activists, and here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : Guillain-Barré Syndrome Is An Autoimmune Disorder
First, let me just start with a quick primer on Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), which is a rare, autoimmune disorder that damages the patient’s peripheral nervous system.
Basically, the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks the peripheral nerves and damages their myelin insulation, after being triggered by an infection, or less commonly, by surgery, and rarely, by vaccination.
GBS patients experience numbness, tingling sensation, and pain, as well as progressive muscle weakness. Some people will develop weakness of their breathing muscles, leading to life-threatening breathing difficulties.
Fact #2 : Peru Declared Health Emergency On July 8
On 26 June 2023, the National Center for Epidemiology, Prevention, and Disease Control (CDC) of Peru issued an epidemiological alert (PDF download) announcing an increase in Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) cases across the country.
For the first 27 epidemiological weeks in 2023, 191 cases of GBS were reported, with 77 cases confirmed. Four deaths were reported – 1 in January, 1 in March, and two in May. Here was the breakdown:
- 58.6% (112 cases) were males between 2 and 86 years, with an average age of 41
- 40.3% (77 cases) were adults between 30 and 59 years
- 26.7% (51 cases) were senior citizens 60 years and older
- 19.9% (38 cases) were children under 17 years of age
On 8 July 2023, Peru issued a national Health Emergency decree, which authorises:
- The implementation of an action plan that includes financing for the provision of strategic resources in health, including the acquisition of human immunoglobulin as part of the treatment of patients with Guillain Barré syndrome.
- Intensification of surveillance, prevention, and response actions to possible cases.
- Communication of risk to health professionals and issuance of key messages to the population to adopt preventive measures.
- Advice, information, and guidance on Guillain Barré syndrome to health professionals and the general population.
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Fact #3 : Peru Declared Similar Emergencies Pre-Pandemic
Globally, Guillain-Barré syndrome is considered a rare disease, with 1-2 cases per 100,000 people per year. However, it is surprisingly common in Peru, at least relatively to the rest of the world.
A country of 33 million people, Peru records 300 to 500 cases annually. The Peruvian government has previously declared similar health emergencies in 2018 and 2019. During the last 3 years, cases dropped – probably due to the lockdown and other COVID-19 health measures:
During the year 2020, 448 cases were reported nationally with a weekly average of 11 cases; in 2021, 210 cases were reported with a weekly average of 4 cases, and in 2022, 225 cases were reported with a weekly average of 4 cases.
This shows that Peru’s Guillain-Barré syndrome problem existed long before the COVID-19 pandemic occurred, and certainly long before COVID-19 vaccines were invented.
Fact #4 : Previous Outbreaks Were Due To Infections
Guillain-Barre syndrome is most commonly caused by infections. So it comes to no surprise that the previous outbreaks in Peru were found to be caused by infections:
- 2018 outbreak : An enterovirus transmitted mainly by the faecal-oral route
- 2019 outbreak : Campylobacter jejuni bacteria, of the ST2993 genotype
Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) is a known complication of Campylobacter jejuni infections.
Fact #5 : Current Outbreaks Linked To Bacterial Infection
In the current 2023 outbreak, most patients presented with infections, or signs of infection:
- 24.1% (46 cases) : respiratory infection
- 23% (44 cases) : gastrointestinal infection
- 16.2% (31 cases) : fever
Samples were collected from those patients, and as of 10 July 2023, eleven cases were confirmed to be infected with Campylobacter jejuni – the same bacteria that caused the 2019 outbreak!
Just to be clear – neither the SARS-CoV-2 virus, nor the COVID-19 vaccine, can transform into Campylobacter jejuni bacteria.
And let me just repeat this – Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) is a known complication of Campylobacter jejuni infections.
Fact #6 : GBS Caused By Vaccine Is Rare
Guillain-Barré syndrome can be caused by vaccination, but this is very rare. When it comes to COVID-19 vaccines, it has been associated with the AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines – both using the virus vector method.
It is plausible for the adenovirus used by the two vaccines to trigger GBS. After all, the vaccine works by “infecting” our cells with the harmless adenovirus to deliver the necessary genetic code to create the COVID-19 spike protein.
However, the risk of developing Guillain-Barré syndrome with these virus vector vaccines are rare. With the Janssen vaccine, only about 100 suspected GBS cases were reported after 12.8 million people received the vaccine.
The risk of developing GBS with the AstraZeneca vaccine, on the other hand, is between 98 to 140 cases per million doses of the vaccine.
While it is possible that some of the GBS cases in Peru might be due to COVID-19 vaccination, they would be relatively few.
Fact #7 : Guillain-Barré syndrome Is Rapid In Onset
Regardless of the risk of developing GBS from COVID-19 vaccines, it is very unlikely that the current outbreak has anything to do with COVID-19 vaccination. That’s because Guillain-Barre syndrome is rapid-onset – it occurs quickly.
Most Peruvians received their COVID-19 vaccinations by end of May 2022. Therefore, it is impossible for their past COVID-19 vaccinations to surface a year later as Guillain-Barré syndrome.
Fact #8 : The People’s Voice Is A Fake News Website
The People’s Voice is the new name / brand for NewsPunch, which was forced to change its name because it has been so thoroughly discredited, its brand was worthless.
Like Real Raw News, NewPunch was a FAKE NEWS website that capitalises on making shocking but fake stories to generate page views and money.
It was founded as Your News Wire in 2014, before being rebranded as NewsPunch in November 2018. A 2017 BuzzFeed report identified NewsPunch as the second-largest source of popular fake news spread on Facebook that year.
Its articles have been regularly debunked as fake news, so you should NEVER share anything from NewsPunch / The People’s Voice. Here are some of its fake stories that I personally debunked earlier:
- Did Chelsea Clinton Call To Force-Jab Every Child?!
- Is Hungary Prosecuting George Soros For Holocaust?!
- Is ICC launching Nuremberg 2 trials for COVID crimes?!
- Is WHO Planning To Take Control Of Internet?!
- Did Philippines Issue Arrest Warrant For Bill Gates?!
- Did Italian Court Rule Vaccine Mandate As Unconstitutional?!
- Did Matthew Rodrigopulle Die From Vaccine / Accident?
- Did Three Doctors Die Right After 2nd Booster Dose?!
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
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