A 16-year-old Eccles, East Bank Demerara resident is Guyana’s second confirmed case of the mosquito-borne Zika virus.
This is according to Minister of Public Dr George Norton, who told reporters today that the teenager who had no history of having travelled outside of Guyana had tested positive after samples from him and 54 others were sent for testing in Trinidad.
At a press conference held at the Ministry of Public Health boardroom today Chief Medical Officer Dr Shamdeo Persaud explained that doctors within the private and public health sector of Guyana are currently screening patients and identifying suspected cases from those who fit the “case definition”. Those patients who present with fever, rashes and red eyes (conjunctivitis) are referred for testing at the national reference lab. This lab tests the samples for dengue and chikungunya. It is only those samples which are negative for these viruses that are sent for further testing at the Caribbean Public Health Agency(CARPHA) in Trinidad. CARPHA is the only agency in the Caribbean able to confirm the presence of the zika virus.
“88 suspects were identified and we did some local testing before we referred 55 cases to CARPHA. Of that 55 a total of 2 cases have tested positive for Zika,” Persaud said.
The first case of Zika in Guyana was confirmed in January. That case, a 27 year old woman from Covent Garden on the East Bank had also not travelled outside of Guyana.