398 persons hospitalised with dengue so far this year

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony

Guyana is facing a dengue fever outbreak, with 398 individuals having been hospitalised this year, according to recent information from Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony.

In an interview with reporters on Friday, Dr Anthony reported that the Health Ministry has conducted over 18,000 tests this year to monitor and control the spread of this dangerous mosquito-borne disease. Out of those tests, 4,700 individuals were found to be positive for dengue. Despite these efforts of the Health Ministry, four fatalities have occurred from dengue-related complications.

Dengue (break-bone fever) is a viral infection that spreads from mosquitoes to people. It is more common in tropical and subtropical climates. However, there are signs that the situation may be improving in the country, and according to Dr Anthony, in the past week, there have been fewer than ten new hospital admissions, indicating a possible decrease in new cases. As such, public health officials are intensifying their efforts to combat the outbreak.

“We have been working with the Regional Health Officers. In each region, they have a schedule for fogging… We have been using some chemicals that will kill the larvae,” Dr. Anthony explained.

These vector control activities, including fogging and public awareness campaigns, are crucial in reducing the mosquito population and spread of the virus, he explained.The Health Minister also highlighted that many of the individuals testing positive for dengue had previous infections.

“This is what people need to know. The treatment is very symptomatic…There are four strains of dengue. The first time you get infected with any of them, it would be mild; but if you get infected a second time with a different strain, there can develop complications,” he said.

The Health Ministry is urging residents to take preventive measures seriously. These include eliminating standing water where mosquitoes breed, using mosquito repellent, and ensuring homes are properly screened to prevent mosquito entry.

The ministry has said that early detection and treatment are key in managing dengue. Residents who experience symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, joint and muscle pain, rash, or mild bleeding are advised to seek medical attention immediately.

The Health Ministry has said it is dedicated to managing the outbreak and protecting public health.