More than 300 people infected with dengue last week

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Guyana, like many other countries in South America, recorded a substantial increase in the number of persons affected by dengue fever last week and Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony is urging persons to take the necessary precautions to safeguard themselves.

“In the past week, we had 317 positive cases recorded across Guyana,” Dr. Anthony told the News Room on Sunday.

Comparatively, based on local records, Guyana grapples with an average of about 80 cases weekly. A majority of those cases are recorded in Regions Two, Three, Four and Five.

But Dr. Anthony pointed out that increases in the number of persons affected by dengue have been recorded all across South America.

The World Health Organization last week warned that cases of dengue fever could reach record highs this year, partly due to global warming which is providing more conducive conditions for dengue-spreading mosquitoes, the aedes species.

Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony

The WHO says reported cases of the disease, which causes fever and muscle pain, represent just a fraction of the total number of global infections since most cases are asymptomatic. It is fatal in less than 1% of people.

Because of these concerns, the Health Minister advised persons to avoid stagnant water and destroy breeding places for mosquitos.

He also assured citizens that the local authorities have the capacity to deal with any hospitalised patients.

Already, he said daily surveillance has been increased, 15,000 test kits were delivered across all the regions, and new guidelines on treatment and presentation have been updated.

If additional tests are required, Dr. Anthony said samples can be sent to the National Public Health Reference Laboratory and the Vice Chancellor.

The Health Minister also said fogging exercises are ongoing.

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