The Ministry of Public Health, in a media release this morning, said it is actively pursuing preventative measures for vector borne diseases such as Zika, Chikungunya and Malaria.
Public Health Minister Dr. George Norton recently told the Government Information Agency (GINA) of this development. He added that, “We have the protective gears that are necessary in order to treat such persons and I can tell you, if we had it under control for Ebola, we will have it under control for the other viruses as well.”
However, the minister noted that there are some worrying circumstances. “I’m particularly worried about the Brazil areas because while we might not be having that scare of the H1N1 virus there, we have the Zika virus in Brazil… while the Zika virus is not as debilitating – you know it’s not so painful like that of the other viruses we have. It has a very, very, what I might refer to as a devastating effect on mothers that are pregnant, because it causes neurological malformation of the babies.”
The vector borne disease is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes polynesiensis mosquitoes.
In order to control the spread of these mosquitoes, individuals should conduct systematic searches in and around their environment for any stored or exposed body of water and remove these sources which serve as breeding grounds.
Additionally, persons should clear their environs of unnecessary materials such as tyres, punch holes in discarded containers, properly cover containers with stored and drinking water, pour a little oil in contained water for domestic use, and change water regularly in vases, pet containers and plant saucers, since these also attract vectors.
The ministry is also advising that all pregnant women and children sleep under a mosquito net; since the zika virus causes some abnormalities in developing fetuses.
Natural substances, household insecticidal sprays, coils, and candles can assist in reducing the presence of mosquitoes around the home. Screening of windows, doors and other openings can also be beneficial.
Persons who travel to Guyana should inform the Port Health Authority at the airport, seaport or land crossing or contact the nearest health facility, if they had symptoms of fever within the last week. The necessary advice and follow up care would be provided.