There is confirmation that another person has contracted the Zika virus. The patient is from the Soesdyke area on the East Bank of Demerara. According to Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Shamdeo Persaud, the other five persons have fully recovered.
Meanwhile, preventative measures continue with over 5000 chemically treated bed nets distributed country-wide. The Government Information Agency (GINA) reported that an additional 75,000 is available for distribution. In addition, the Vector Control Services (VCS) is fogging in many communities.
Port Health Officers are also present at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport and all other ports of entry country-wide. These officers are monitoring for individuals travelling to Guyana who may exhibit signs of the illness.
Zika is a vector borne disease transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. Signs of the illness include fever, headache, joint and muscle pain, rash and sometimes swelling of the limbs. Some persons may also experience vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. There has been no direct treatment developed for the illness, but patients are treated with basic pain killers.
Precautionary measures such as the use of insect repellants, mosquito treated nets, long sleeve clothing is recommended. Household insecticidal sprays, coils, candles, screening of windows, doors and other openings can also aid in reducing mosquitoes in the home.
Individuals should conduct systematic searches in and around their environment for any stored or exposed body of water and remove these sources of mosquito breeding grounds to control the spread of mosquitos.
Persons are asked to 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.
It is also advised that individuals use only insect repellents that are registered and approved by the Pesticides & Toxic Chemicals Control Board.
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 have had symptoms of fever within the last week. The necessary advice and follow up care would be provided by the Ministry of Public Health officers.
Individuals are reminded that denying Public Health Officers access to their compounds for spot checks is breaching the Laws of Guyana, and are advised to desist from doing so. Those who do not follow these regulations could face legal action.