Days after the first imported case of the H1N1 virus commonly known as Swine Flu has been detected in Guyana, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Shamdeo Persaud pointed out that the Public Health Ministry is currently monitoring some of the patient’s close relatives and health care workers who had attended to him at a private hospital.
The male patient travelled from China, through the United States then to Trinidad and Tobago before returning home to Guyana. However, he displayed no symptoms of the virus on the course of his journey including on the flight. This would mean that there has been no risk to others travelling on the same flight or in his immediate environment.
According to a GINA report, Dr. Persaud has confirmed that “it would mean that the patient would have been unable to transmit the virus since it is transmitted through a symptomatic person.” It can only be transmitted if an infected person coughs or sneezes and thus releasing the virus infected particles into the air.”
The patient’s test result returned positive from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad and Tobago. He is currently undergoing treatment abroad.
The Ministry has tightened its surveillance security system at the main ports of entry in the country, primarily at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) and the Ogle International Airport.
Symptoms of the H1N1 virus include coughing, fever, sore throat, body aches and headaches.
Trinidad and Tobago, recently reported four H1N1 related deaths.
The Public Health Ministry is advising citizens to abstain from travelling to countries where the H1N1 virus is present, unless it’s very necessary.