With Monkeypox cases confirmed in Barbados and Jamaica,the Ministry of Health will be on high alert for possible cases of Monkeypox in Guyana as the virus has been detected in more than 40 countries already.
Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony, recently stated that the country now has the capability to test for the virus, if the need arises.
Guyana’s local health authorities, with guidance from the Ministry of Health, are preparing to address any possible case of the virus, locally.
“We have the capability if it’s necessary to do these types of tests so that’s how we have been preparing…We did not have that capability but we’ve sent persons to train and they’re now back at the Public Health Reference lab and they would be able, if it is necessary, to run these samples, they would have the competence to do so,” he pointed out.
The minister said training was conducted by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and was rolled -out for Caribbean regions.
Symptoms of Monkeypox include: fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion, and rashes that can look like pimples or blisters that appear on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Monkeypox can be transmitted from animal-to-human (zoonotic) by direct contact with blood, bodily fluids, or cutaneous or mucosal lesions of infected animals.
Further, human-to-human infections occur when someone comes into close contact with an infected person. As such, the health minister is urging persons to take precautionary measures to avoid Monkeypox infections in Guyana.
Additionally, the spread of the virus is mainly associated with infected persons traveling from endemic countries to other locations across the world.
With the recent outbreak, Minister Anthony said the virus is not easily contained, as such it continues to spread across countries, and was recently detected in some Caribbean countries.
“What is different from past outbreaks is that this one is not easily contained, and so you now have Monkeypox cases in probably more than 40 countries right now,” the Health Minister said.
Meanwhile, healthcare workers are on the lookout for any signs and symptoms of the virus.