Posted on Mar 12, 2018, 12 a.m.
Flu season this year has been one of the worst in recent memory causing thousands of cases of hospitalization. The virus can be extra dangerous for young men who can experience nerve damage caused by the body’s response to the flu.
Antibodies created by the immune system to fight the virus in rare cases attack the myelin protective sheath around the nerves creating the condition known as Guillain-Barre syndrome. The syndrome typically begins with tingling, numbness, and burning sensations in the legs leading to muscle weakness, falls, and unsteadiness, that if left untreated can lead to complete paralysis. It is estimated that 17 out of every 1 million flu cases in young men will develop into Guillain-Barre syndrome following battling the flu.
Many patients ignore and brush off the sensations in their legs as leftover symptoms from the flu and think it will clear up on its own eventually. The National Institute of Health reports that 90% of patients with the syndrome can reach weakest muscle strength during the 3rd week of having the syndrome.
Studies have shown that young men recovering from battling the flu have a slightly higher risk of developing the syndrome, with the exact reasons as to why not known.
It is strongly suggested that if anyone, especially young men, recovering from battling the flu experience even mild tingling or burning sensations in their legs should consult medical advice as soon as possible, as patients who are diagnosed early on and get treatment have better chances of and/or recovery of physical strength and improvement of damaged nerves.
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