A 16-year-old Eccles, East Bank Demerara (EBD) resident is the country’s second confirmed case of the mosquito borne, Zika virus.
This was announced, yesterday, by the Minister of Public Health, Dr. George Norton and the Chief Medical Office (CMO), Dr. Shamdeo Persaud at a press conference in the Ministry’s Boardroom.
The teen, according to the CMO, had no history of travelling outside of Guyana but had visited one of the hinterland regions just a month prior to him being tested positive for the virus.
Persaud said that the teen has recovered following his treatment at the vector control unit and he is back at school.
The CMO said that the virus started with fever; the teen then came down with a rash and then conjunctivitis (red eye).
The four persons who reside with the patient were all interviewed and samples were taken from them to be sent for testing.
Fogging was done in and around the house and family members were also given mosquito nets. The CMO said that health workers were able to track the teen’s movement and the necessary precautions were taken.
A total of 55 samples were sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad and Tobago for testing and out of that, the second case was confirmed last Friday when the results were returned.
The turnaround time for the results has been seven days for each batch of samples sent.
“We are continuing to alert all the health facilities to be on the lookout for those cases,” the CMO revealed.
He continued, “At the Border we know the Brazilian situation continues to be very volatile and we have some unverified reports that there might be some additional cases. We made contact there and they have been fogging.”
Kaieteur News was told that there might be people who are relatively healthy and might have the virus. “Unfortunately, Zika is a mild disease in most persons and can even present without any systems.”
For pregnant mothers, the CMO said that the Health Ministry has continued to distribute the treated mosquito net free.
“More than 5000 were distributed and we are in the process of educating mothers. The risk is more important during the early period of pregnancy so we are urging mothers to register with their antenatal clinic early,” Persaud advised.
Kaieteur News was told that only recently, Brazil mobilized over 220,000 of its armed forces to fight against the virus.
“We understand in neighbouring Suriname, it is creating havoc. We had a big discussion in parliament whereby physicians are claiming that they are diagnosing this disease by the symptoms they are seeing in patients but we can only say that a person suffer from Zika after doing a laboratory test in Trinidad,” the Minister emphasized.
In January, the first case of the mosquito borne virus was confirmed in a woman who resides in Covent Garden, EBD.
The Zika Virus is transmitted to humans by the Aedes type mosquitoes. The mosquito borne virus is manifested with symptoms such as fever, headache, joint and muscle pain, rash and sometimes swelling of the limbs.
Some persons may also experience vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. A very distinct symptom too is that of conjunctivitis (red eyes). Symptoms, however, are usually mild, health officials have observed.
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