Guyana monitoring borders, ports for monkeypox cases as infections climb in Brazil  

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With Brazil confirming over 1,000 cases of monkeypox infections, Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony has assured citizens that Guyana’s borders and ports of entry are being monitored to prevent infected persons from entering the country.

The Health Minister urged persons to be cognisant of the rise in monkeypox infections in the neighbouring country.

“We have to be careful because next door, Brazil has quite a number of cases, given our open borders with Brazil, there can be persons who are infected coming across.

“But it is not just that border, monkeypox can come from any one of our ports of entry,” Dr. Anthony said.

He further noted that authorities here have been alerted to be on the lookout for associated symptoms in travellers.

While Guyana has no detected monkeypox cases, medical operators have been trained by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to detect and treat the disease. This training has also been expanded to regional practitioners here.

Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony

In this regard, the Minister further said, “We have brought in the re-agents so that we can do PCR test for monkeypox.” Using the re-agents, tests can be conducted using samples taken from suspected infected persons.

To further establish the many provisions that the ministry has to ensure that infections are detected, the minister said an infectious disease team is on standby.

“We have an infectious disease response team, so if a doctor suspects a monkeypox case, this specialised team will be able to respond to go and assist the physician in determining whether it is monkeypox or not,” Dr. Anthony said.

He added that the spread of monkeypox is through close contact between an infected person. He, therefore, warned persons to be very vigilant of the signs and symptoms.

Further, the ministry has set up a section of the Liliendaal infectious disease hospital to treat cases of monkeypox. The minister explained that the infected persons would be kept there for monitoring of symptoms. These efforts are precautionary steps to avoid a breakout of monkeypox infections here.

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