Guyana prepares for monkeypox as cases detected in nearby countries


The Ministry of Health has intensified capacity-building efforts to ensure that the presence of monkeypox is readily detected in Guyana, as cases have been detected in nearby countries and around the Caribbean.

Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony told the News Room on Tuesday that health personnel have been sent to Jamaica for surveillance training. Laboratory personnel are also learning how to detect and treat the virus.

Since initial alerts were issued globally, the Ministry of Health has been attentive to skin rashes since this is one of the symptoms that people infected with monkeypox may experience.

No cases have been detected in Guyana as yet. Cases have, however, been recorded in Venezuela, Brazil and Jamaica.

Asked if the ministry has intensified screening at the ports of entry, Dr. Anthony siad that it is difficult to do so.

“… what we have done, over the last month and a half or so, we have alerted our physicians, guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) so they can monitor it,” Dr. Anthony said.

He added, “These are the initiatives that we are taking in preparation for if we have a case.”

Local physicians are required to alert the Health Ministry of any suspected or confirmed cases of monkeypox. Thereafter, the ministry is tasked with alerting the WHO.

Monkeypox, according to the WHO, is a virus transmitted to humans from animals with symptoms similar to those experienced by smallpox patients.

The Pan- American Health Organization (PAHO) reported that between January 1 and July 7, 2022, there were 7,892 confirmed cases, including three deaths. The 3 fatal cases were reported from Nigeria (1) and the Central African Republic (2).

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