The Ministry of Public Health has received confirmation that a Guyanese patient who was hospitalised after displaying symptoms of swine flu has been infected with the H1N1 virus which causes the disease.
The patient who was being treated at a private hospital has since been transferred by his family to a facility overseas.
According to Minister of Public Health Dr George Norton the 50 year old patient who had returned to Guyana from China, developed the symptoms within a two-week period, and was admitted to a private city hospital, but was later transferred to another private medical institution.
The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) Laboratory in Trinidad returned the results last week, following which the measures were taken to vaccinate members of staff who were treating the man.
“We will be monitoring close relatives and persons who would have come in contact with him, but, at this point, there is no need for screening, because a case has not been confirmed,” Persaud explained.
The health minister said while this is not good news for Guyana, there is no need to panic, as medical institutions are prepared to deal with such occurrences.
Among the symptoms for H1N1 are chills, fever, coughing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, fatigue, and diarrhea.
The Public Health Ministry has been monitoring the situation over the last 12 months, and has not detected any other H1N1 case in Guyana.
Persaud says the Public Health Ministry has had an active disease surveillance system in place, particularly at the main ports in Guyana – the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) and the Ogle International Airport.