No monkeypox in Guyana but health workers learning to detect, treat virus


No cases of monkeypox – a new virus that is being monitored by health authorities – have been recorded in Guyana thus far but healthcare workers are receiving training overseas to detect and treat the virus.

Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony told reporters on Friday that local laboratory technicians were sent abroad to learn how to diagnose the disease through a Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) training programme.

This is part of local efforts to ensure that the local healthcare system is well-equipped to manage the spread or potential outbreak of the virus.

The Ministry of Health has been on alert for skin rashes since this is one of the symptoms that people infected with monkeypox may experience.

And the minister said that local authorities continue to monitor for any possible cases in Guyana.

Minister of Health Frank Anthony

“What we have been doing is to make sure that our physicians are able to recognize signs and symptoms of monkeypox.

“We want to equip our healthcare system in case we have any cases here, we will be able to detect it (and) we will be able to treat it,” Dr. Anthony said.

With those healthcare workers receiving training overseas, he added that if there is any detected case in Guyana, the authorities will be able to respond.

A report by PAHO states that training on the detection and laboratory diagnosis of monkeypox is being offered to people from participating countries.

The report adds that more than 1,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) in 29 non-endemic countries, but Guyana has not recorded any cases since the cases started rising in the Americas.

Despite the discovery of the disease back in 1958, many countries are not trained to diagnose the disease. He further posited that the monkeypox cases were easily detected due to the strict monitoring of the COVID-19 disease.

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