57-Y-O man is Guyana’s first monkeypox case; Health Minister says ‘don’t panic’


Guyana’s first monkeypox patient is a 57-year-old man who tested positive for the virus at the weekend and is currently isolated at the Infectious Diseases Hospital at Liliendaal, Georgetown.

The News Room understands that the man is a public transportation driver. He is also a resident of Region Four (Demerara- Mahaica).

Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony provided some details on Monday, minutes after the News Room reported that the first case has been detected.

The Health Minister related that local authorities suspected that the man was infected at the weekend.

But health officials told the News Room that the man has no recent travel history outside of Guyana and his ailment was at an advanced stage when he became hospitalised.

Because Guyana has developed the capacity to test for the virus, the man’s sample was tested locally.

“That patient has since been isolated and is stable,” Dr. Anthony said.

The patient is expected to recover in 14 days.

Importantly, the minister explained that monkeypox is spread through close contact. And so, he advised the public against panicking.

Dr. Anthony was sure that the Health Ministry has efficient systems in place now to deal with monkeypox.

“We had been looking at what had been happening in the world and (adopting) those measures and guidelines so that when recording our case, we can take those measures and guidelines and run with them,” Dr. Anthony said.

Over the last few months, some health professionals have been receiving training to detect, test and treat this virus.

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

The Health Minister has asked that people engage their health providers if they see rashes appearing on their skin.

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