The Region One community of Kariakou has been rocked by another death, reportedly caused by the mystery illness which has for more than a month plagued the community.
Reports are that Betty Daniels, said to be in her 40s, is the latest victim of the illness. She died yesterday morning.
Kaieteur News was informed that Daniels like the previous victim, Joe Harrison, who was also a resident of Kariakou, succumbed one day after a medical team left the community.
According to a resident, the situation is becoming even more frustrating as health officials seem unable to determine what is responsible for the illness or even establish how persons are becoming infected.
The resident said that it is also disturbing that every time a medical team leaves the area another life is snuffed out by the illness.
Residents are of the belief that the health workers stationed in the community are not capable of warding off the ailment without the assistance of the visiting medical team.
As a result, it was opined that enough is not being done by the Health Ministry to deal with the problem given the fact that persons have died. The reported number of deaths believed to have been caused by the illness has now mounted to five with the death of Daniels.
It was disclosed that up to last Friday at least four more persons were experiencing symptoms of the illness.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr Shamdeo Persaud, just last week had travelled to the Region to garner samples of blood, stool and water for testing.
The samples, according to him, were taken to the National Public Health Reference Laboratory. When this newspaper spoke with the CMO on Monday he was not in possession of information to ascertain the result of the samples.
When Kaieteur News attempted to contact the Chief Medical Officer yesterday for a comment on Daniels’s death, it was revealed that he had travelled to Region One.
During his visit to the Region last week, Dr Persaud had led a medical team to the Port Kaituma community, while Dr Julian Amsterdam and another team had ventured into Kariakou.
As part of the measures to address the situation, Dr Persaud had disclosed that the Health Ministry was forced to review the protocol customarily engaged by the health workers in the affected communities.
He disclosed that the move is crucial as the health workers there are not accustomed to managing symptoms at the level that characterise the mystery ailment. Symptoms of the illness according to reports include vomiting, cramps and diarrhoea.
“We are still not sure what the causative agent is. So we are hoping that once we are able to test these samples at the National Public Health Lab we would be able deal a lot better with the situation,” Dr Persaud had asserted last week.
And though unable to establish the cause of the illness, he had alluded to the condition in the Region One area whereby human waste is disposed of in a questionable manner.
He, as a result, has lamented the fact that the Health Ministry does not have enough Environmental Inspectors to address the problem.
Dr Persaud last Friday had told this newspaper that the Ministry of Health is very concerned about the situation thus had scheduled a number of visits to the Region in the quest to ascertain the cause of the illness.
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