Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony confirmed on Monday that Guyana is prepared to handle monkeypox cases since it can test and treat the disease.
Trinidad and Tobago reported its first and second cases of monkeypox on July 11 and 12 respectively, which involved a middle-aged man who had recently travelled, while the second incident involved a young adult male.
During the sidelines of the Regional Health Officers Conference at the ministry’s Brickdam head office, Dr Anthony said Guyana has the ‘know-how’ to effectively deal with monkeypox cases.
He disclosed that healthcare workers are actively monitoring various airports and other entry points to report any suspicions of the disease, to alert the system for precautions to be executed.
“We have activated our systems to ensure that if anyone comes with those types of symptoms that we will be able to manage it. We do have surveillance at our airports and the borders with Brazil and Suriname. And we do have port control as well,” he added.
Guyana recorded two cases of the viral infection in August 2022. However, the health minister highlighted that Guyana was able to make those diagnoses due to systems being in place.
“We have the testing capabilities and a response team. If there is a suspicion, we would write out the things the doctors must look for, which have been sent to all of our physicians. If they observe a person that is fitting these types of criteria, then they call for the response team to come down. These are experts we have in infectious diseases. They will appraise the case and do the testing which goes to the lab.”
The disease’s main hosts are rodents and non-human primates, such as monkeys. Monkeypox is a serious condition that mostly affects areas near tropical rainforests in Central and West Africa.
Fever, headache, backache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, tiredness, and rashes that can resemble pimples or blisters that form on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body are some symptoms. (Modified from DPI).