The first case of the dreaded zika virus has been detected in Guyana, Public Health Minister Dr George Norton told the National Assembly this afternoon.
Minister Norton explained that the virus was detected by the Caribbean Public Health Agency in Trinidad and Tobago.
The agency detected the presence of the virus in a sample of blood sent from Guyana to the agency. Norton reported that the Ministry of Health was informed about the detection on January 12.
He explained that the agency also revealed that the sample came from a female, age 27, whose address is listed as Rosehall, Corentyne and also Garden of Eden, East Bank Demerara. The case was said to have the symptoms of fever, body rash and pain.
Zika is a mosquito-borne viral disease caused by the zika virus (ZIKV), consisting of mild fever, rash (mostly maculo-papular), headaches, arthralgia, myalgia, asthenia, and non-purulent conjunctivitis, occurring about three to 12 days after the mosquito’s bite. One out of four people may develop symptoms, but in those who are affected, the disease is usually mild with symptoms that can last between two and seven days. Its clinical manifestation is often similar to dengue, also a mosquito-borne illness.
Meanwhile, the National Assembly was also informed of the four-fold increase of gastroenteritis in Baramita, Region One.
According to the Government Information Agency, Minister Norton explained that the Regional Health Services on January 4, 2016 informed the Ministry that the staff of the Baramita Health Post and the Regional Environmental Officer reported an outbreak of the bacterial infection among residents in Baramita and surrounding communities.
According to Minister Norton, the increase in cases was noted in the months of December 2015 with a total of 50 registered cases. A review of the previous trends revealed that this was more than a four-fold increase from the 12 cases monthly that was seen in recent time, the Minister explained.
He also noted that the situation continued in 2016, with an additional 31 cases reported.
The main symptoms of gastroenteritis, is watery diarrhoea and vomiting. Some individuals may also experience stomach pain, cramping, fever, nausea, and headache. Due to the diarrhoea and vomiting, dehydration can also be experienced. Signs of dehydration include dry skin, feeling lightheaded, and becoming very thirsty.