Sep 05, 2022 News
– remain under observation at the infectious disease hospital
Kaieteur News – Guyana’s two confirmed cases of the Monkeypox virus remain in isolation and under observation at the National Infectious Disease Hospital at Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara and a senior official at the Ministry of Health said the patients likely to have been infected through personal or sexual contact with others.
Health officials attached to the Ministry of Health confirmed following a press briefing on the spread and containment of the disease on Friday. In addition, the health officials confirmed that no other persons who had been in contact with the two infected patients have shown signs of the disease, so far. Infectious Diseases Specialist Dr. Shazeema Shaw warned however that Monkeypox has an incubation period of 21 days before a person show any signs of the disease.
“All infected Monkeypox patients will exhibit skin rashes in addition to some other symptoms. And so, those people who might have been infected and spread it to the confirmed cases, should have those signs,” she said during the media briefing.
In the interim, health officials confirmed that contact tracing for the two infected patients revealed that they are likely to have been infected through personal or sexual contact with others. Local epidemiologist Dr. Anand Persaud told reporters that “the first case it’s more than likely the person would have had personal contact with an individual infected.
For the second case, he said that health workers are suspecting that more than likely that individual would have also had personal contact but more specifically sexual contact with someone who was infected.
Dr. Persaud revealed too that contact tracing has been ongoing for both cases and the local health authorities are monitoring those who have been in contact with the infected patients. In Guyana, the first confirmed case was a 57-year-old man, who was later identified as a taxi driver while the second was a woman in her 30s. Both cases are unrelated and neither person travelled recently, raising concerns about the spread of the virus locally.
Since recording its first case of the disease, Guyana has heightened surveillance at its points of entry for suspected Monkeypox-infected persons coming from other countries especially Brazil where there are 4,876 cases of the disease.
Health officials has so far confirmed that Guyana is receiving information about the number of Monkeypox cases in Brazil through the International Health Regulations network associated with the World Health Organization.
Chief Medical Officer (CMO) attached to the Ministry of Health Dr. Narine Singh told the media on Saturday that the Ministry is relying on public awareness at the ports of entry to help contain the spread of the disease. Dr. Singh admitted while the Guyana-Brazil border is “very porous” health care providers have been put on high alert for possible Monkeypox cases and to “activate the system but it’s really increasing awareness and once there is a suspected case to report the case to the Ministry of Health.”
He said that at the ports of entry, health workers are being urged to be vigilant to spot persons with skin problems that appear to be Monkeypox. “We have these posters at the airports, at the bridge crossing at Lethem, and at the Ogle Airport for persons who might be coming in we are asking persons that if they present with rashes, they need to report to the nearest health official,” he said.
In the meantime, health workers have warned that the disease can be spread through direct and indirect contact with the virus that causes Monkeypox.
Direct contact occurs when a person has direct interaction with an infected person and indirect contact occurs when a person touches an infected surface or material that an infected person would have been in contact with. Health workers are therefore urging people to continue to practice good hand washing and sanitizing practices. Additionally, health workers who are caring for infected persons are asked to protect themselves by wearing adequate protective gear at all times.
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