‘Everyone plays a role’ in eliminating mosquito borne diseases –  Specialist

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Amid an upsurge of dengue cases in Guyana and the Latin America/Caribbean (LAC) Region, the Ministry of Health is conducting massive awareness programme to eliminate the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.

Dr. Shazeema Shaw, an Infectious Disease Specialist attached to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GHPC), on Thursday discussed, in detail, the national response to mosquito borne diseases with the News Room.

Dr. Shaw said the ministry has tried to conduct fogging exercises and said eliminating breeding sites is key to preventing the spread of these diseases.

“The fogging kills the adult mosquito, it doesn’t kill the larvae so persons need to be cognizant in their homes so if you have for example a vase with water in them that is a perfect site for mosquitoes to lay larvae, if you have a barrel at the back with water, again a perfect site.

“So just eliminating you stagnant water sources or changing them as often as you can will eliminate it. Everyone has to play a role to eliminate the breeding places so we don’t have adult mosquitoes,” Dr. Shaw said.

Infectious disease specialist attached at the Georgetown Public Hospital, Dr Shazeema Shaw (Photo: News Room/ July 27, 2023)

Dr. Shaw explained that the female mosquito that carries the disease are the Aedes Aegyptus and Aedes Albopictus.

These infected mosquitoes bite persons, transmitting the virus.

She further explained that symptoms of these diseases are often similar, therefore persons must undergo the rapid tests for the different diseases.

“Vector borne diseases, are usually disease that are spread by a vector in this case it is spread by the mosquito.

“Chikungunya and zika are viruses as well, malaria is a parasite so the treatment is a little different that is why if you are getting symptoms, we urge persons to get tested because you are not only getting tested for dengue, if your dengue is negative then the doctor you are seeing might think of something else you might have so you can detect it early,” Dr. Shaw said.

To get tested persons can visit the Medical outpatient department at GPHC, and those exhibiting severe symptoms can go to the Accident and Emergency department.

Testing is being done across the country.

In addition, the Ministry is currently conducting serotyping of the dengue virus to determine which of the four dengue types is causing the increase in cases.

Guyana is recording 80 cases per week and as of last week there were 317 persons infected with dengue.

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