A Chinese national, Ji Caitao, 28, was the first haemorrhagic dengue fever death recorded in Guyana for this year. The Chinese girl died on February 11 in a private city hospital after suffering from undiagnosed haemorrhagic dengue fever for almost two weeks.
Reliable sources have explained that when Ji took ill, the thought was that she was suffering from the common cold. She proceeded to visit two different private hospitals in Georgetown, where she was treated for the flu.
Upon receiving treatment for the flu (in the form of injections), her symptoms apparently went away, and it was assumed Ji was getting better, and she proceeded back to work. Her symptoms soon resurfaced, and she sought treatment once again.
After visiting the two different private hospitals on two separate occasions, she went to a different private hospital, where she was admitted. When she was admitted at the other private hospital, she was diagnosed with haemorrhagic dengue fever.
After Ji was diagnosed, her roommates became very worried that they might also have contracted dengue fever. Similarly, reports have said that Ji’s employer had instructed all staff members to immediately go and get tested for dengue fever should they notice any of the symptoms thereof.
Health Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy, at a recent press conference, refused to reveal if the infection of dengue fever is from Guyana or if it was imported.
He added that one of the challenges with which his ministry is faced is the constant movement of people from neighbouring countries where dengue is present.
The dengue that is present in Guyana is usually the mild form, which, according to Dr. Ramsammy, will not be forever. Moreso, he said, haemorrhagic dengue is present in other countries, and since that is the case, it will enter Guyana; and unless the ministry does deal with the vector issue, there will be a major problem.
Meanwhile, it has also been confirmed that the Chinese girl never travelled out of Guyana since she entered the country in December, 2006.
Ji’s body was cremated on February 13, just two days after she died in the private city hospital.
Her ashes will shortly be sent back to her family in China. Reports have said that Ji is the younger of two children in her family.
Her family was reportedly in a state of shock, as her death was both sudden and untimely.
Additional reports have been heard that another Chinese national has also taken ill with dengue fever. It is unclear whether or not the second Chinese national has haemorrhagic dengue fever.
Even though the first dengue case for this year was recorded on New Year’s Day, the Health Minister stressed the point that there is no outbreak in Guyana, as there is no crisis situation; but he is concerned with the increasing number of cases.
“For me, the fact that there is an increasing number is enough for us to act; and so we are going to be taking various actions, including fogging in the epicentre areas,” said the minister.
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