(CMC) – Health authorities Tuesday said they do not believe Guyana will experience an outbreak of Monkeypox after the first case was recorded 24 hours earlier.
“Monkeypox is relatively rare, we only have one case now in Guyana, the patient is very stable, and in the next 14 days, that patient should be discharged, once everything goes well. So, we don’t expect a lot of cases,” Guyana Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony, told reporters.
The 57-year-old man from Demerara-Mahaica, who contracted the virus, is currently isolated at the Infectious Diseases Hospital, Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown.
Dr Anthony said several people who were recently in contact with the patient have since been placed in quarantine for monitoring.
The Health Minister told reporters that health authorities are already on the lookout for people who may become infected with both the Monkeypox and the coronavirus (COVID-19).
“We would be on the lookout for such combinations and if they do occur, the doctors will come up with the appropriate way of treating it,” he said, adding that a committee of specialists has been established to assist people get guidance and information should they suspect that they have the disease.
Dr Anthony said Guyana now has the capacity to detect the virus from a diagnostic point of view and that adequate laboratory reagents were also sourced to conduct testing at the National Public Health Reference Laboratory.
“Our staff went to Jamaica, they received that training, came back and they have in turn trained a lot of people in the country, so we have capacity to be able to detect the virus.
“We also made sure that we bought the relevant laboratory reagents so that if we have to run the test, we have that capability of running the test. At our National Public Health Reference Lab, we have several PCR machines and we have configured one of them to be able to do these tests specifically to Monkeypox,” he explained.
More than 42,000 cases have been detected in 95 countries including Barbados, Jamaica, the Bahamas and Bermuda.
The symptoms for the virus include a rash that initially looks like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy. Other symptoms of Monkeypox can include, fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion, muscle aches and backache, headache as well as sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough.