High number of monkeypox cases in Guyana unlikely – Dr Anthony

Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony maintains that he does not foresee a large number of monkeypox infections in Guyana.

Guyana recorded its second case of the viral infection on Monday, a week after the first infection was announced.

“I don’t think we will have large numbers of people being affected and that’s why, once we are able to identify persons with monkeypox, that’s why we have been isolating them to prevent further spread, and we will continue to do that so we don’t expect large numbers,” he said while giving an update on the disease Wednesday.

Monkeypox test

He is, however, urging the public to continue efforts to curb infections by taking all the necessary precautions.

“If any one has any rashes… and suspects that it might be monkeypox then they should come into one of our health institutions, so that the doctor there can do a proper evaluation and we can do the laboratory test and to make a determination,” he said.

The minister is advising persons to avoid contact with others who have rashes and urge those persons to seek medical attention.

“We prefer to err on the side of caution, so many cases that would be reported to us people with skin rashes are not going to be monkeypox and that’s fine, I don’t mind, we are going to screen them nevertheless, we are going to run the test and so forth and that’s important for people to know, so we rather err on the side of caution, rather than not doing anything about it,” the health minister said.

The minister said it is difficult to trace the source of the first recorded infection.

“We have been in touch and so with the names and so that the patient has given us, it is hard to find some of the contacts because he does not have any particulars on those persons, but the immediate family members and persons who he has been in contact with regularly, those persons are in quarantine,” he noted.   

So far, none of those persons have shown any signs of infection.

The health ministry has also made it easier for persons to call and seek medical advice relating to the disease by repurposing the COVID-19 hotline.

Persons can also call 0449, a toll free GTT number if more information is needed.

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Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.