[www.inewsguyana.com] – Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shamdeo Persaud has confirmed that Guyana has recorded a total of 76 cases of the chikungunya disease from approximately 250 samples that were sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad and Tobago.
While Guyana has not recorded any deaths so far, it may be comforting to note that the disease is not associated with high fatality, as overall, there have only been three reported chikungunya-related deaths recorded in the Caribbean.
Speaking to the Government Information Agency (GINA), the CMO said that based on reports coming from health facilities across the country, there are 580 suspected cases.
Some of the samples sent to CARPHA are still to be tested (the lab conducts testing for other Caribbean countries as well).
The situation in Guyana in terms of the disease is not much different from CARICOM jurisdictions, GINA claimed; adding that there are currently 921 confirmed cases in the entire region.
While the prevalence of chikungunya has been more pronounced in Regions Six and Five and to some extent Four, there have been three reported cases in Region 10, but are associated with travelling, not active transmission.
Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne disease; transmitted by the aedes aegypti mosquito, which is also known to spread viruses such as dengue, and yellow fever.
Dr. Persaud explained that the aedes aegypti mosquito is commonly found in many homes. Water collected in containers, old tyres and other vessels provides the perfect breeding ground for these mosquitoes.
The CMO said that even though fogging and more general environmental controls are necessary, a lot more precautionary measures can and should be taken at the household level.
“We feel that a lot can be done at the household level…from the inspections carried out, we have noted that there are several common breeding grounds around the homes where even fogging would not impact effectively,” he said.
CMO also called for greater community involvement and understanding of the virus and how it can be prevented.