CDC investigating campylobacter, Guillain-Barre’ increase in Arizona

The Yuma Sun reports a recent increase in a rare nervous system disorder that can lead to paralysis has led the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to send agents to Yuma to investigate.

Health officials announced Wednesday that health officials in Yuma County and San Luis Rio Colorado, Son., have reported an increase in acute diarrheal illnesses caused by campylobacter infections and cases of Guillain-Barre’ Syndrome (GBS) over the past three months.

As of July, there have been six confirmed cases and one pending case of GBS in Yuma County, said Becky Brooks director of the Yuma County Health District.
In a normal year, there are typically three to four cases.

“(In June) we started noticing an increase in the campylobacter infection first,” Brooks said. “And then we started hearing about a syndrome they call acute flaccid paralysis. There had been some people who had gone to (the Yuma hospital) and had been sent to Phoenix.

“Once we started hearing those names a few times, we started checking into it. That’s when we contacted the state, and the state then contacted the CDC.”

The CDC confirmed the increase in GBS constituted an “unusual cluster,” which happens with a variety of diseases and for a variety of reasons to occur across the country at any given time, Brooks said.