Fears grow over spread of Chikungunya in Berbice

-two cases confirmed along East Coast

There are growing reports of the spread of the mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus in Berbice, while at least two cases have been confirmed at Liliendaal and Plaisance, both on the East Coast of Demerara

Although confirmed cases doubled in the last few weeks to 62, there are fears that the figure may be more than what is being reported.

A resident of Albion, Berbice yesterday told Stabroek News that hundreds of people were lining up at the hospital to be treated. She said people were travelling from Crabwood Creek and West Coast Berbice to visit the New Amsterdam Hospital.

She said people were so desperate to get treatment that they were spending their money on injections to relieve the pains. She indicated that doctors with private practices were charging people $5,000 to administer an injection that is believed to bring relief.

But their relief is short-lived because after a few hours, she said, the pains and fever return. She further stated that pharmacies were selling the injections for $3,000.

When it was put to her that the Health Ministry had warned civilians about being fooled that an injection could rid the virus, she admitted that she was unaware. “If the Ministry of Health told them not to, then they are ignoring the ministry,” she stated.

“These people were grasping at anything that could help them but it eventually wears off in a few hours,” the woman added.

Meanwhile, a resident of Prince William Street, Plaisance said her daughter had contracted the virus two weeks ago. “I’m shock that it hasn’t spread all over Guyana because of the condition of Guyana. I expected worse!” she said, adding that her daughter started experiencing pains first before developing a hot fever. “Then she started to get rashes and her joints were swollen,” she explained.

A teenage girl in Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara has been hospitalised for the last week.

Last night, a woman was cradling her three-year-old daughter in the Emergency Unit of the Georgetown Public Hospi-tal, praying that the toddler was not infected with the virus. She said three days ago the child started crying out for pains in her stomach and foot.

She said she was waiting on a doctor to tell her what was wrong with the child. “This thing deh all over. I just hoping that this is not what’s wrong with my baby girl,” the East La Penitence mother said.

Stabroek News was unable to reach Chief Medical Officer Dr Shamdeo Persaud for a comment on the issue. So far, the Health Ministry is yet to release any new information on the spread of the virus throughout Berbice and Georgetown.

Two weeks ago, over 170 samples were sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for testing and 62 samples returned positive.

There are 36 confirmed cases of the virus in Region Six, while 19 cases were discovered in Region Four. The other cases were scattered across Region Three, Five and Ten.

Persaud previously said they had increased their awareness campaign and fogging exercises as the figures soared. “We are focussing more on educating the population,” he had also stated.

However, residents in many parts of the city and along the East Coast complain that the mosquito population is still significant.

He said when the virus emerged in May, vector control officers were on the ground and visiting the homes of the suspected and infected patients to inform them about the virus.

The mosquito is bred in uncovered overhead tanks, pans, tyres, drums, discarded coconut shells, flower pots, water and feeding dishes for pets and vases in homes. Some of its symptoms include sudden high fever, joint pains, muscle pains, skin rash and headaches. And while there is no specific treatment for Chikungunya, medicines are available to treat the symptoms.

The mosquito is identified by white markings on the legs and a pattern of a lyre on the thorax. It is usually seen throughout the day and night even though it bites mostly at dusk and dawn.

More in Local News

default placeholder

India enforces follow on, Dowrich hits 57 not out

NORTH SOUND, Antigua, CMC – India have enforced the follow-on after dismissing West Indies for 243 in their first innings, about 35 minutes before the scheduled close on the third day of the opening Test at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium here Saturday.

default placeholder

Suspect confessed to murder of Herstelling manager – Police

The Guyana Police Force today said that the suspect in the murder of Herstelling, East Bank Demerara, resident Terry Lackhan has confessed.

Indrawattie Chandradeo and her two remaining sons and her only daughter in tears at their home yesterday

Two men, teen boy found shot to death at Mibicuri Creek

By Bebi Oosman   The bodies of two men and a teenage boy, bearing gunshot wounds, were discovered yesterday at Mibicuri Creek, Black Bush Polder and police had one person in custody up to late last night facing questions about their shocking deaths.

Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson and contractors checking out the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) booth at the procurement symposium for new entrant contractors, which was held at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre yesterday. (Minister of Public Infrastructure photo)

Patterson underlines need for transparency in public procurement

Speaking at a symposium for new and existing contractors, Minister of Public Infrastructure (MPI) David Patterson yesterday stressed the need for transparency in the huge public procurement sector and added that distrust in the system has to be dispelled.

default placeholder

Granger says evidence of dereliction needed for Lawrence’s removal

Minister of Social Protection Volda Lawrence would be removed from office once evidence is presented supporting her dereliction of duty, according to President David Granger, who has lauded her for her work so far.

Dr Madhu Singh (at right) with the team of doctors during the press conference

Dr. Balwant Singh’s Hospital saves heart patient given 48 hours to live

Dr Balwant Singh’s Hospital Inc recently performed its first ever pericardiectomy on a 27-year-old patient who had been given 48 hours to live while hospitalised at another institution.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: