Oct 01, 2016 News
Health officials are currently monitoring the birth of a baby with possible symptoms related to the Zika Virus. The baby was reportedly born on Monday at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) to a woman who was
diagnosed with the virus early in her pregnancy.
An official close to the public health facility told this publication that tests are still being carried out to determine the extent of the possible infection.
This publication understands that a number of officials from the Public Health Ministry had visited the mother and her baby, both of whom are reportedly still hospitalised.
This publication was reliably informed that the mother of the baby born on Monday is in fact an employee of the GPHC.
Minister of Public Health, Dr, George Norton, confirmed this state of affairs yesterday and revealed that there have in fact been two microcephalic babies born in Guyana since the Zika Virus was detected.
One of the most troubling concerns associated with the mosquito transmitted Zika virus is that it has the potential of causing an infected pregnant woman to deliver a baby with microcephaly. Microcephaly is recognised by an abnormal smallness of the head of a child born to a Zika virus-infected woman. There have been several cases of microcephaly reported in Brazil, Guyana’s neighbour to the south.
In August the Public Health Ministry had confirmed that four pregnant women were diagnosed with the Zika Virus. The virus is transmitted by Aedes-type mosquitoes which also transmit Chikungunya and dengue. There is no cure for the virus, but treatment is made available for the symptoms manifested.
Symptoms can include fever, rash, joint or muscle pain, headache or conjunctivitis (pink eye) with microcephaly and the Guillian-Barre syndrome being among the more worrying resulting conditions associated with the virus. The Guillian-Barre syndrome impacts the body’s defence and is known to weaken the nervous system.
Information from the Ministry of Public Health in August suggested that the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad confirmed that among a batch of blood samples sent to be tested for the virus, 26 were positive. Of the 26, four were samples taken from pregnant women.
One of the women, this publication was told subsequently suffered a miscarriage and at least one had given birth to a normal baby but that she was being monitored along with her baby. Reports however suggested that a third woman had refused to avail herself for monitoring while a fourth was being closely monitored. This publication was not able to confirm whether the woman who gave birth on Monday is one of the four women who were being monitored.
Dr. Gordon-Boyle, who was acting in the capacity of Chief Medical Officer in August had told this publication that once a pregnant woman is diagnosed with the virus, she is first counselled and information about the virus is shared with her.
Having been made aware of the possible complications, Dr. Gordon-Boyle said that “the option is entirely hers (the pregnant woman) if she chooses to proceed with the pregnancy or not.”
Part of the guideline for monitoring infected pregnant women includes monthly ultrasounds to ascertain whether the foetus is developing normally. Dr. Gordon-Boyle however made it clear that although not all infected pregnant women will deliver babies with microcephaly, efforts are made throughout the pregnancy to “look for any signs of deviations from a normal pregnancy.”
“We are managing and providing information,” said Dr. Gordon-Boyle as she pointed out that despite the concerns associated with the virus, the Ministry of Public Health has not issued an ‘avoid getting pregnant now’ advisory.
“We are not going to be that radical,” said Dr. Gordon-Boyle who stressed that if a woman opts to become pregnant now it is her prerogative and the Ministry will continue to render its support.
Since the spread of the Zika virus was reported, a number of territories including Jamaica, El Salvador, Colombia and Ecuador have called on women to delay pregnancies.
This is not only because the virus has been linked to microcephaly but because of the fact, that it has been proven that the virus can be transmitted sexually.
Minister Norton noted that while his Ministry has issued no directive to delay pregnancy “persons should take into consideration whether it is the best time to make (conceive) their children now.”
AUBREY NORTON FRIGHTEN RENEGOTIATION AND RING-FENCING
Feb 27, 2024– GDF makes successful start to defence By Rawle Toney Kaieteur Sports – The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) KFC Elite League got off an entertaining start on Sunday evening, with former...
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – When the Foreign Ministers of the world’s wealthiest nations gathered in Brazil... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.