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Guyana heightens monkeypox vigilance near Brazil border, ports

Last Updated on Saturday, 3 September 2022, 13:02 by Writer

Chief Medical Officer Narine Singh and Epidemiologist at the Ministry of Health Dr Anand Persaud.

Guyana is on the lookout for suspected monkeypox-infected persons coming from other countries especially Brazil where there is a high number of cases, top Health Ministry officials said Saturday.

So far, Guyana has recorded two confirmed cases of the viral disease, while there are 4,876 cases in neighbouring Brazil.

Chief Medical Officer of the Ministry of Health Dr Narine Singh says authorities are relying on public awareness and education at the ports of entry to curb the spread of monkeypox. He told a media awareness briefing and seminar that posters and other materials are being posted at the ports of entry and health w0rkers are being urged to be vigilant to spot persons with skin problems that appear to be monkeypox. “We have these posters at the airports, at the bridge crossing at Lethem and at the Ogle Airport for persons who might be coming in,” he said.

Dr. Singh said the Guyana-Brazil border is “very porous” with 39 crossing points and so health care providers have been put on alert for possible monkeypox cases and to “activate the system but it’s really increasing an awareness and once there is a suspected case to report the case to the Ministry of Health.”

Epidemiologist at the Ministry of Health Dr Anand Persaud told the media that Guyana is receiving information about the number of monkeypox cases in Brazil through the International Health Regulations network associated with the World Health Organization. “The information is very detailed. We have to provide an Excel sheet with a number of variables so we can know specifically where these persons are, their ethnicity, what might have been the form of transmission, all the necessary things that we need to know so that we can be alerted and we need to know what we may need to respond with,” he said.

Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony said Guyana is also sharing information about monkeypox, COVID-19 and other diseases with the international health regulations system.