Guyana to test for Zika Virus within three weeks
Testing for the Zika Virus will be done at local laboratories within the next three weeks. This disclosure was made by Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, yesterday, during this week’s post Cabinet press briefing at the Ministry of the Presidency.
According to Harmon, Cabinet is aware that there are a number of reported Zika Virus infections in Guyana and has urged that every effort be made to address this state of affairs via the Ministry of Public Health. The Minister of State disclosed that during Tuesday’s sitting of Cabinet, Minister of Health, Dr. George Norton, disclosed the Ministry’s approach to the general management of the virus. “As it relates to reports over the last week or so that there have been two or three cases of the Zika Virus affecting women who would have delivered at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC),” said Harmon. Minister Norton had said that his Ministry has been monitoring two microcephalic births. Microcephaly is a condition that has been linked to recent outbreaks of Zika Virus which is characterised by babies being born with underdeveloped heads. In August the Public Health Ministry 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 linked to the virus. The Guillian-Barre syndrome impacts the body’s defence and is known to weaken the nervous system. Guyana has been depending exclusively on CARPHA to confirm suspected cases of the virus. One of the pregnant women diagnosed with the virus had suffered a miscarriage and at least one has given birth to a normal baby but is 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. (Kaieteurnews.com)