A Las Vegas man who received the flu shot on Nov. 2 has developed a rare immune disease “in response to receiving the flu shot,” according to a doctor who spoke to ABC News.
Monique Morgan, a Las Vegas resident, says her husband Shane received the flu shot at the start of November. He quickly began developing flu-like symptoms.
“36 hours afterwards, he developed flu-like symptoms,” said Morgan.
After suffering for more than a week, Morgan says her husband said he needed to see a doctor.
“He’s like I can’t feel my legs… I need you to take me to the emergency room,” said Morgan.
Shane Morgan has now been hospitalized for six days. A medical professional, speaking to WOAY-TV, an ABC affiliate, says his condition is likely a “rare disorder that’s been linked to the flu vaccine.“
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a disorder in which a person’s own immune system damages their nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis — and even death.
GBS can cause symptoms that usually last for a few weeks. Most people recover fully from GBS, but some people have long-term nerve damage. In very rare cases, people have died of GBS, usually from difficulty breathing. In the United States, an estimated 3,000 to 6,000 people develop GBS each year.
“In all my years of practice, I had only seen one case of this,” said Dr. Daliah Wachs.
WOAY reports: Wachs, who is not treating Shane, spoke with us about GBS.
“A flu shot will not inject anything into you, Guillain-Barré is your body’s response to a flu shot or a pathogen,” said Dr. Wachs
Dr. Wachs says if you have a history of GBS, talk to your doctor. But medical professionals still urge the general public to get vaccinated.
While she waits for her husband to recover, Morgan says her goal is to educate the public about this disorder.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the exact cause of GBS is unknown, but about two-thirds of people who develop GBS experience symptoms several days or weeks after they have been sick with diarrhea or a respiratory illness.
Infection with the bacterium Campylobacter jejuni is one of the most common risk factors for GBS. People also can develop GBS after having the flu or other infections (such as cytomegalovirus and Epstein Barr virus). On very rare occasions, they may develop GBS in the days or weeks after getting a vaccination.