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Teenager suffers Guillain-Barre syndrome after swine flu shot

By Andrew Moran     Nov 12, 2009 in Health
During the 1970s flu scare, when a strain of the Swine Flu circulated in the United States, hundreds of people contracted Guillain-Barre syndrome after being vaccinated. A new case in Virginia has some worried history will repeat itself.
After receiving the H1N1 Swine Flu vaccine, a 14-year-old Virginia boy is having a hard time walking. On Tuesday night he finally left the Fairfax Hospital for Children after a week of muscle spasms and weakness in his legs, according to Huliq News.
Jordan McFarland has been diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome and will spend some time in a wheelchair.
In 1976, when a strain of the Swine Flu spread across the U.S., there were 500 reported cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome and 25 deaths. Today, 33 years later, some analysts worry about more people will get Guillain-Barre syndrome.
As MSNBC notes, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention have received five reports of people contracting GBS since Oct. 6, not including McFarland’s case. Deputy Director for Immunization Safety, Dr. Claudia J. Vellozi, said the rate is only one out of about 40 million doses, which is far lower than the regular flu shot.
Vellozi further added, “We know that GBS and other illnesses occur routinely in the U.S. There are events that follow vaccination. That’s what they are, they happened to follow vaccination.”
GBS is rare, with one out of every 100,000 people being diagnosed with the non-trauma-induced paralysis. After in-depth and serious treatment, 80 per cent of patients have fully recovered and it is expected that McFarland will completely recover.
However, some analysts and doctors, such as Vellozi, believe the diagnosis may not be from the vaccine but a bacterial contaminant in the H1N1 vaccine. Vellozi added that there are 80 to 120 GBS cases reported each week in the US.
In addition, as Natural News reports, American doctors are not required to report vaccine side-effects to any health authority.
In July, Digital Journal reported that public health officials were calling for a no-fault compensation that would encourage people to take the vaccination because it may cause conditions or side-effects similar to McFarland’s case.
The H1N1 Swine Flu vaccine has not received the standard testing usually applied to vaccines by the World Health Organization.
Nevertheless, the high school athlete remains optimistic, “The doctor said I’ll recover fully, but it’s going to take some time.”
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