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June 1959

Guillain-Barré Syndrome and Virus of Influenza A (Asian Strain)Report of Two Fatal Cases During the 1957 Epidemic in Wales

Author Affiliations

Cardiff, Wales

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1959;81(6):699-705. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1959.02340180033005

Although the major complication of the 1957 pandemic of influenza was pneumonia, cases of neurological disorder were reported to accompany or to follow the initial respiratory infection. The brunt of the insult was borne at any level of the nervous system, giving rise to a varying combination of clinical symptoms and signs. One of these was the Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Despite the occurrence of fatal cases and the opportunity for pathological study, this syndrome remains a clinical concept, although, since its first description in 1916,16 the ambit of its diagnostic use has been greatly extended, particularly in the literature of Scandinavia, America, and the British Commonwealth. By the outbreak of World War II, Guillain14 himself had accepted several varieties of the syndrome, and in his most recent communication15 (1953) he allotted 3 of his series of 19 cases to a sixth variety, which had been described nearly 20