A second man who had been air-dashed to the capital has now succumbed to the deadly leptospirosis disease outbreak while receiving medical treatment at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).
Reports are that this man had contracted the lethal virus and after exhibiting severe symptoms along with some of his colleagues, he fell terminally ill at the Matthew’s Ridge village, Region One, last week.
Health Minister Volda Lawrence had confirmed on Tuesday that 200 mining employees are being assessed for leptospirosis after several workers of GMI fell ill and one died.
The Minister noted that several tests were done on the miners and samples will be sent to the Caribbean Reference Laboratory, in St Vincent and the Grenadines, for further evaluation.
On Saturday last, a medical team from the Mabaruma Hospital was deployed to Matthews Ridge. Eight persons were air-dashed to the city after one died.
The symptoms the men exhibited were pain, fever, headache and respiratory distress.
Meanwhile on Monday, six more miners from Matthews Ridge were flown out to the city with similar symptoms.
During the interview on Tuesday, Lawrence noted that there were no reports of any new cases at health centres in any neighbouring villages. As such, she said there was no suspected connection to the Venezuela border situation, since only the miners who were working at a particular tunnel have been affected thus far.
The manganese mining company has been instructed to halt further exploration until the Public Health Ministry and a team from the Occupational Health and Safety Department of the Social Protection Ministry advice further on the matter.
While the specialists continue to work on the patients admitted on Saturday, results have shown that two patients tested positive for leptospirosis, which is known to be spread through direct contact with rat urine or faeces.