Health Minister believes it was ‘purely coincidental’ that cop with chickenpox died after taking filaria pills


Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony on Wednesday said he believed that it was “purely coincidental” that a policeman died after taking two varicella (chickenpox) vaccines and then the pills for filaria.

Dr. Anthony said the Ministry of Health along with representatives from the Pan American Health Organization – World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) are investigating the death.

Rockliff Cozier, a police constable who was infected with chickenpox, died at around 18:15h at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) on Tuesday.

Police Headquarters in a statement noted that Cozier, who was from Supply, East Bank Demerara (EBD), received two injections for chickenpox at about 08:30h on Tuesday and then, at about 14:30h, he took pills being used to treat filaria.

Cozier collapsed while in a barrack room and was picked up and rushed to the GPHC in an unconscious state.

It was further reported that he was placed in incubation during which he had a relapse, suffered two seizures, and subsequently passed away.

Dr. Anthony said based on the reported circumstances of the man’s death, it would be premature to attribute to either the filaria or chickenpox medication.

“We have to ascertain the facts before we pronounce… but generally, when you review the safety profile of the filaria tablets you are not supposed to have adverse effects like this,” Dr. Anthony added.

He has asked that persons allow the investigation to take its course and a report on the findings will be made public when it is available.

Guyana recently commenced the rollout of a mass administration of the second dose of filaria medication.

Health officials have repeatedly assured that it is safe to take the pills.

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