JoNel Aleccia, Health Writer for MSNBC, wrote about a cluster of cases of a rare illness that can lead to nerve damage and paralysis has been identified along a small stretch of the United States-Mexico border.

At least two dozen people in Yuma County, Ariz., and San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico, have been diagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome in the past month, with some left drastically impaired by the illness that triggers the body’s auto-immune reaction.

Guillian-Barré Syndrome, or GBS, typically affects only about 1 in 100,000 people, according to government health statistics, so a cluster of 24 cases is cause for alarm, officials said. Although the condition often resolves on its own, recovery can be long and painful. And in rare cases, the illness can cause permanent disability and even death.

The sudden spate of GBS cases in the southwest looks to be the result of an outbreak of infections with Campylobacter bacteria, a common diarrheal foodborne illness typically caused by eating raw or undercooked poultry or meat, unpasteurized milk or contaminated water. It can also be spread by animals such as cattle and dogs.

We have had first hand experience with the devastation of GBS in the “The Alexandre Eco Farms Dairy Raw Milk Campylobacter Outbreak” where Mari Tardiff was so profoundly impacted:

Raw Milk Risks: Mari Tardiff Campylobacter Illness from Marlerclark on Vimeo.