Apr 26, 2009 News
A swine flu virus that has killed as many as 68 people and sickened more than 1,000 across Mexico poses no immediate threat to Guyana. This is according to Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy who at a press conference yesterday at the Regency Suites on Hadfield Street, noted that his Ministry has been monitoring the situation since the first two cases were reported in the United States.
Despite the deaths, according to Minister Ramsammy, only 17 cases have been confirmed as the Swine Virus (H1 N1 virus) in Mexico.
“The present situation is not one that is immediately threatening to Guyana. However, this country is not waiting for an immediate threat to evolve before we take action. So there is an ongoing monitoring of what is happening in the swine population. It is not unusual for swine flu type of illnesses to go from pigs to people,” Minister Ramsammy said.
He added that the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Department and the Ministry of Health Environmental Health Department have been monitoring illnesses that are related to the swine flu in animals particularly the swine.
The danger and the threat that have now emerged in the region of the Americas is that there is definite evidence of
person-to-person transmission and this now makes it a totally different health problem, explained the Health Minister.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has not yet defined it as an epidemic on the emergence, but the Health Ministry has been in direct contact with the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and the WHO and any new development will be immediately communicated between the two.
According to Minister Ramsammy, since there is no immediate threat of the virus here, there is no need to close the borders, or to prevent persons from visiting the United States or Mexico, but urged for persons to be cautious and know how to protect themselves when visiting these countries.
In the meantime, surveillance has been upgraded at the borders and at the airport, because any fever cases must be reported to the Ministry. All health centres, doctors and private hospitals have to make daily reports to the Health Ministry on any fever cases that they are treating.
However, according to the Health Minister, Guyana’s response to dealing with this issue can change within hours, as it depends on the development of the virus. He explained that Guyana is well stocked with the treatment for this virus. There is enough stock of Tamiflu ready in case swine flu emerges.
When Guyana had to deal with the SARS situation in the country, the government had procured raw materials for the production of Tamiflu in the country and according to Minister Ramsammy; Guyana now has the capacity for on demand production of Tamiflu.
“I want to assure the Guyanese public that the situation is being closely monitored…If there is any evidence that it is spreading outside of Mexico, then my Ministry will take protective action as the level of action will change.”
Swine flu is a respiratory viral infection with one of several types of Influenza A virus including the H1N1 currently causing concern in North America among pigs. Occasionally these viruses can spread to humans, especially persons in close contact with live pigs (pig farmers, butchers etc) and may cause moderate to severe illness.
Swine influenza viruses are not transmitted by food. One cannot get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork and pork products are safe. Symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to those of regular or seasonal flu and include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some with swine flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. (Fareeza Haniff)
Guyanese you are being prostituted by your politicians!
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