Three more cases of the Zika Virus have been confirmed by the Ministry of Public. The cases were confirmed in two females and a male after samples were tested by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and found to be positive for the virus.
A senior Ministry of Public Health official made this disclosure to this publication.
According to the official, one of the victims said to be in her early 20s was also tested positive for dengue fever. The woman resides at Timehri.
And based on investigations spearheaded by the Ministry, the woman might have contracted the virus while visiting Kaneville, East Bank Demerara, which has been found to have a thriving mosquito population.
Moreover, Vector Control Services Unit, this publication understands has been mandated to conduct a fogging exercise in the East Bank community.
“The Timehri area where the woman lives does not have a mosquito problem but the woman as well as other members of her family have been visiting Kaneville very frequently and there is a serious mosquito problem there,” an official told this publication.
At least three other members of the woman’s six-member family developed symptoms consistent with the Zika virus, including rashes and conjunctivitis (pink eye). However, her manifestation was deemed more severe thus a blood sample was taken from her for further tests.
But the fact that the woman was found to be inflicted with both Zika and Dengue is not a surprising occurrence, according to the official, since both viruses are transmitted by Aedes type mosquito.
The other two victims of the Zika virus are two Cuban doctors stationed at the Diamond Regional Hospital. Both doctors reside in the living quarters of the hospital.
According to the official, there were reports that the Diamond hospital and its environs are also infested with mosquitoes and this required the Vector Control Services Unit’s intervention.
Since the detection of the virus here earlier this year, Guyana has confirmed five cases. The first case was a woman with addresses on the East Bank of Demerara and Berbice while another case of a teenage boy residing at Eccles, East Bank Demerara, has been recorded.
The Zika virus is spread by infected Aedes mosquitoes that bite throughout the day into the evening and at nights. In addition to the Zika virus and dengue fever, the mosquito can also transmit chikungunya.
They are able to breed around homes especially in collections of fresh water such as open black tanks, tyres, roof guttering, plant containers and other vessels.
While most people who contract the virus may not manifest any signs or symptoms, health officials have urged that pregnant women in particular seek to protect themselves from the bites of the mosquitoes since the virus has been linked to birth defects.
Persons can seek to prevent mosquito bites by wearing light coloured clothes that cover the body, arms and legs. They can also help to protect themselves by using insect repellents to exposed body parts and use household insecticide sprays, coils and candles to ward off mosquitoes.
The Ministry of Public Health is urging persons to check with the nearest health facility if they, or a family member or friend, develops a fever or any other Zika symptoms including joint pains or muscle pain or headache.
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