Guyana adopting measures to prevent entry of Chikungunya virus

The Aedes aegypti mosquito carries the chikungunya fever and dengue fever diseases.

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, May 13 – Guyana says it will conduct tests on persons entering the country who may be experiencing signs of fever, head aches, pains to the joints and eyes as it seeks to prevent the entry of the Chikungunya virus.

Director of Vector Control Services (VCS), Dr. Reyaud Rahman is quoted by the state-owned Guyana Information Agency (GINA) that the authorities were implementing plans for the tightening up of surveillance and intensifying of operations at the ports of entry to prevent against vector borne diseases.

He said VCS desks would be stationed at the Ogle Airport and later at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) and that this initiative will results in tests being conducted on persons entering Guyana who may be experiencing signs of fever, head aches, pains to the joints and eyes, and vomiting.

Dr. Rahman said that while the intention is not to cause any form of inconvenience to passengers, the goal is to identify any case of the disease and contain it. He said the team of medical workers will also be looking at persons who may have visited an island or area that is already affected by the disease.

Chikungunya first made itself known in the Caribbean last December, when it showed up on St. Martin. More than 4,108 cases have been reported in 14 countries across the Caribbean as of the end of April with the head of the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), Dr. James Hospedales, saying that by definition “this is an epidemic since it represents an unusual number of cases of this problem where we would never have it before”.

Chikungunya has been confirmed in Anguilla, Aruba, Virgin Islands, Haiti, Dominica, the Dominican Republican, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Barthelemy, St Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Maarten (Dutch) and St. Martin (French).

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