The H1N1 virus also known as swine flu has been detected in Guyana, with one person already confirmed as having the virus.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Shamdeo Persaud on Thursday confirmed that the person, who has the virus, has been flown by relatives to the United States for treatment.
However, the Ministry of Health along with the private hospital where that person was being treated is now taking measures to vaccinate its staff including doctors, who were treating the sick man.
INews was told that the man had travelled from China to Guyana via the United States but in-transited briefly in Trinidad.
After falling ill the man was admitted to a private city hospital where he remained for over two weeks before being flown to the USA. During that period, blood samples were sent to neighbouring Trinidad for testing. Those results were returned to Guyana yesterday with confirmation that the man had indeed contracted the deadly virus.
While this is not good news for Guyana, Dr Persaud assured that there is no need to panic as medical institutions are prepared to deal with such occurrences.
Public Health Minister Dr George Norton had previously told other sections of the media that Guyana has the ability to detect and manage the virus. He had said that while Guyana cannot prevent the virus from spreading to these shores, the two main ports of entry – Cheddi Jagan and Ogle International airports – are on the alert and staff members are mandated to report anyone who shows symptoms of the disease.
Among the symptoms for H1N1 are chills, fever, coughing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, fatigue, and diarrhoea.
Meanwhile, in neighbouring Trinidad there are 42 confirmed cases. Four persons have since died from the virus in Trinidad.