In continuing efforts to fight the Zika Virus in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), the Environment Health Department has commenced fogging along the Essequibo Coast.
An environmental officer during the fogging exercise in Region Two over the weekend
Region Two Senior Environmental Health Officer (EHO) Shaleena Baksh told this publication over the weekend that fogging commenced from Supenaam to Dry Shore along the Essequibo Coast.
Giving this newspaper an update on the exercise, the EHO said despite the challenges, residents are co-operating and the Department has successfully conducted health education talks on the Zika Virus in several villages. Over 4000 persons benefited from these sessions.
In addition, officers from the Environmental Department in the Region also conducted health education sessions on the virus at various secondary and primary schools.
Baksh has advised residents to support the fogging by covering all drinking water and food during the exercises.
So far there have been five confirmed cases of Zika in Guyana.
The first case of the Zika Virus was recorded earlier in January in a woman, 27, who resided in Rose Hall, Berbice, and Covent Garden, EBD.
Two weeks ago Health Minister Dr George Norton announced that a male student, 16, who resides in Eccles, East Bank Demerara (EBD), was Guyana’s second confirmed case.
The other three cases were reported over the weekend. Two are doctors attached to the Diamond Diagnostic Hospital while the other is a woman who resides in Timehri, EBD.
Additionally, a woman who travelled from Guyana to the United States was subsequently diagnosed with Zika. She was one of two additional cases recorded by Ohio State, US.
The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache.
Guyana has already been placed on the United States Centres for Disease Control (CDC) Zika Virus warning list.
The CDC cautioned pregnant women not to travel to Guyana, among other Zika-infected countries, since the virus is suspected to lead to severe birth defects.
Babies suffering from the condition have smaller than normal heads, preventing their brains from developing properly.
There is also a possibility that the Zika Virus can be sexually transmitted after one recorded case in Texas.
The Zika Virus is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is also known to carry the Dengue, Yellow Fever and Chikungunya Viruses.
Health experts are unsure why the Virus – detected in Africa in 1947 but unknown in the Americas until last year – is spreading so rapidly in Brazil and neighbouring countries.
Brazil and Colombia are reportedly the worst-affected countries.