While there has been no indication that transmission of the Zika Virus is widespread in Guyana, Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton has said that there are “a number of persons who may have the virus, as they display signs and symptoms that are closely associated with it”. However, since Guyana lacks trained personnel in its medical institutions to detect the Virus, the suspected cases are not promptly detected.
According to Dr Norton, the level of Zika in Guyana will be known after the country is equipped with the essentials to identify the cases and work through a broad partnership to ensure that there is no spread of the mosquito-borne virus.
Dr Norton said recently that the nation would soon be able to test for the Zika Virus after the personnel are trained. Guyana already has the equipment to test for the Virus.
According to the Minister, an individual has already been selected to undergo the training sessions in Trinidad, and will return with adequate information and skills on how to conduct the tests. Currently, two cases of the Virus have been detected in Guyana.
During the 2016 National Budget debate, former Minister Frank Anthony had lambasted the Public Health Ministry, explaining reports from several doctors at medical institutions in Guyana have indicated that there have been a number of patients displaying signs and symptoms that are closely related to the Zika Virus. Dr Anthony said that the Virus was more rampant than the public have been informed.
Last week, Dr Norton announced that a male student, 16, who resides in Eccles, East Bank Demerara (EBD), was Guyana’s second confirmed case of the dreaded Virus.