Reported illnesses in Matthew’s Ridge contained – Min. Lawrence reports

─ persons still being monitored

─ illnesses not related to outbreaks in Venezuela

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence gave an update on the investigations in the recent spate of illnesses and one death reported in Matthew’s Ridge over the weekend of March 30 and 31, 2019.

The minister said that while two of the reported cases are still critical, there are improvements in the others. Despite the “positive signs”, all cases are being monitored closely in Georgetown at Guyana’s premier health facility, the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).

“We are working with them; the doctors are very happy with the positive signs they are seeing, and we will continue to inform the people of Guyana with updates of these persons,” Minister Lawrence explained.

According to a release coming out of the Ministry of Public Health on Monday, April 1, 2019, all the patients with the acute respiratory illness, rash and fever were transferred to GPHC where critical care was provided, and monitoring continues.

“While the specialists continue to work on the seven patients admitted on Saturday, results have shown that two patients tested positive for Leptospirosis which is known to be spread by direct contact with rat urine or faeces. Further tests are being conducted locally and samples will be sent overseas with support from PAHO and CARPHA to get further tests done to rule out other possible infections,” the release noted.

Meanwhile, the minister said the ultimate goal is to return the community to a state of normalcy by ensuring the health centre, and hospital in the area continues to have scheduled clinics.

“The hospital is going to be sanitised and will be up and running; we are working also out of the community centre presently as we assess the other employees because we are talking about over 200 persons in the mining camp. So, we don’t want to have overcrowding, we want to assess those persons separately even as we provide the normal MCH outpatient and so on clinics to the members of the community.”

Minister Lawerence also noted that these illnesses are in no way connected to the current series of outbreaks in the neighbouring country of Venezuela.

“We are just dealing with persons who went into a particular tunnel and that is what we have been able to zero in on and those are the persons that have been affected, no one else in any of the villages there have reported to any of our medical facilities at this point with any of those illnesses.”

Delicia Haynes.