Published: Jul 25, 2011 8:42 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 25, 2011 7:42 PM EDT

SAN LUIS, Ariz. (AP) - An outbreak of a rare illness that can cause muscle weakness and paralysis has been reported in southwestern Arizona and a neighboring community in Mexico.
    
Seven cases of Guillain-Barre (GEY'-on BAH'-ray) syndrome were reported in the Arizona communities of San Luis and Yuma.
    
Another 17 case were found in and around San Luis Rio Colorado in the Mexican state of Sonora.
    
A Mexican man who had a pre-existing chronic condition died from the illness about three weeks ago.
    
Shoana Anderson, chief of infectious diseases at the Arizona Department of Health Services, says the outbreak is suspected to have been triggered by a foodborne illness known as campylobacter.
    
Guillain-Barre triggers the immune system to attack nerves. The illness isn't contagious.
    
The paralysis is temporary, but patients can suffer nerve damage.

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