A man who receive the swine flu vaccine and is suspected to have developed Guillain-Barre syndrome is receiving immunoglobulin treatment to prevent him from developing breathing and swallowing difficulties, a doctor said yesterday. Patrick Li Chung-ki, chief of service at Queen Elizabeth Hospital's department of medicine and a member of the government-appointed expert committee on adverse reactions to swine flu vaccinations, said the man was in serious condition but his vital signs were stable. The patient, a private cardiologist with a practice in Jordan who had a chronic illness, was vaccinated on December 24 and felt pain in his legs four days later. He was admitted to Queen Mary Hospital on January 2, suffering from weakness in his legs. Li said the weakness was starting to move up to the man's arms and was affecting both sides of the body. The speed of signals within the nervous system had also slowed down. 'These symptoms are compatible with those of Guillain-Barre syndrome,' he said, adding that further tests would need to be completed before diagnosis could be confirmed. Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare inflammatory condition, which damages the nervous system. It can occur after swine flu or hepatitis B vaccinations, or be caused by bacterial or viral infection, according to University of Hong Kong microbiologist Ho Pak-leung. Li said the condition could lead to serious difficulty in breathing or swallowing, but patients could recover fully with proper drugs. At the Violet Peel General Outpatient Clinic in Wan Chai, dozens of mostly elderly patients received swine flu vaccinations yesterday. One elderly woman said she had heard about the suspected case of Guillain-Barre syndrome but was not worried. 'I have taken other vaccines before and nothing occurred to me. I have been quite healthy, it should be fine,' she said. Another woman, aged 79, said she was a little worried. 'But since I have another medical appointment anyway, I might as well get the vaccine,' she said. In 1976, the US introduced a national campaign to immunise 220 million people to prepare for a swine flu pandemic. The vaccine used at the time was found to be linked with Guillain-Barr? syndrome. The programme was suspended after 40 million people were inoculated. At least 400 people suffered from the syndrome, 32 of whom died.