Manganese operations suspended; two workers test positive for Lepto.


The Government of Guyana has instructed the Guyana Manganese Inc. company to halt its operations in Region One as it continues to grapple with a respiratory illness that killed one employee and caused some 12 others to fall ill.

A statement from the Public Health Ministry Monday night said that health officials have ruled out Swine Flu (H1N1), Zika, Chikungunya, Dengue, Influenza A and B as possible causes of the recent spate of illnesses and death in Mathews Ridge in Region One.

While the specialists continue to work on the seven patients admitted on Saturday, results have shown that two patients tested positive for Leptospirosis which is known to be spread by direct contact with rat urine or feces.

“Further tests are being conducted locally and samples will be sent overseas with support from PAHO and CARPHA to get further tests done to rule out other possible infections,” the statement noted.

According to the Ministry, thus far there has been no evidence of person to person transmission of infection.

“It is noted that only persons who were directly exposed to one common area became ill.”

On Sunday, a  response team comprising EPA, Surveillance, EH, doctors and nurses were dispatched to region 1 to support the efforts taken in the region to address the illnesses.

The fortified health response focuses on:

  • providing uninterrupted health services to the residents of Mathews Ridge
  • and on conducting health assessments of all persons working in the mining area.

It was noted that a decision was taken to transfer all the patients with the acute respiratory illness, rash and fever to the Georgetown Public Hospital where critical care can be provided should the need arise.

“We are taking all necessary precautions to ensure staff and members of the community at Mathews Ridge are kept safe,” the Public Health Ministry noted.

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