Since being plagued with outbreaks of the chikungunya virus in 2015 and the Zika virus in 2016, Guyana has not seen a resurgence of these public health threats. This is according to information out of the Ministry of Public Health’s Vector Control Services Unit.
Both conditions are spread by the same Aedes type mosquitoes and manifest with similar symptoms, some of which are similar to the symptoms of flu and cold viruses. However, the Zika virus has been more worrying to the health sector since it has been linked to fetal deformities.

Given the similarities of symptoms, the Vector Control Services Unit is appealing for persons to seek medical attention instead of opting to self medicate.

But the Vector Control Services Unit is convinced that even after diagnoses there will remain zero cases of both chikungunya and Zika.

But this is not the end of the mosquito-borne challenges of the health sector since the Ministry has been battling with dengue, which is yet another Aedes mosquito-transmitted virus. To resist a possible epidemic situation, the Ministry has ramped up its sensitisation efforts and these have included raising awareness about the importance of people keeping their environment in a kempt state to destroy the mosquito breeding sites.

Efforts in this regard are being complemented by efforts to guard against imported cases. This is due to the severe cases of dengue that were recorded in the neighbouring countries of Brazil and Venezuela. In response, the Ministry has been training port health officers to quickly detect possible cases.
Recently, the Pan American Health Organization, in raising an alert on the dengue outbreak, named the two countries among 10 that are battling dengue of epidemic proportions.


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