Local testing for Zika in three weeks

LOCAL laboratories are expected to perform testing for the Zika virus infection in the next three weeks, said Minister of State and Secretary to the Cabinet, Joseph Harmon has disclosed.At a news conference on Thursday, Harmon stated that the minister within the Ministry of Health, Dr Karen Cummings briefed Cabinet on the ministry’s approach to the management of the Zika virus infection, generally and particularly as it relates to pregnant women in Guyana.

The Cabinet Secretary said it was reported over the last week or so that there were two or three cases of the Zika virus affecting persons who delivered at the Georgetown Public Health Corporation GPHC.

As a result the ministry highlighted its action plan and outlined objectives of this plan, which includes the early detection of foetus/infant infection, adequate post-diagnosis management of mothers and children and the reduction of the incidence of infection in pregnant women.

Harmon stated that the ministry also outlined that the action plan is an intended and ongoing activity in relation to awareness, surveillance and reporting, training and the strengthening of health services to prevent and combat the zika virus infection generally.

“The Ministry of Health continues to work with Pan-American Health Organization and the World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) to have the zika virus infection, chikungunya and dengue fever addressed in a holistic way,” said Harmon.

Cabinet noted that there are a number of reported cases of the zika virus infection in Guyana, and urged that every effort is made by the ministry to address this matter. It made a number of suggestions to the ministry’s plan of action including, campaigns to sensitise the public, especially expectant mothers.


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