Guyana has first cases of virus new to region

May 28, 2014

At least two people have been sickened by the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus in Guyana in the first locally transmitted cases in the South American country, the health minister said Wednesday.

A regional lab confirmed the virus in a 4-year-old child and a 40-year-old man in the eastern part of the country near its border with Suriname, Health Minister Bheri Ramsarran said.

The government has been spraying pesticides to control the two species of mosquitoes that have spread the virus in the Caribbean since the first locally transmitted case was confirmed in the region in December.

"We have been alert," Ramsarran said. "So far Guyana had been spared the brunt of this invasion but now we have discovered the first two cases."

Guyana is the second place on mainland South America to report a locally transmitted case. French Guiana was the first and has had more than 170 cases.

Symptoms of chikungunya, which was first documented in Africa in the 1950s, include in the joints and a high fever. There is no vaccine and the primary treatment is for the arthritis-like ache in the bones.

The Pan American Health Organization says there have been more than 60,000 suspected cases throughout the Caribbean since the first locally transmitted case was documented in December. The illness causes high fevers and but is rarely fatal. There is no vaccine and the main treatment is pain medication.

Explore further: WHO sees first chikungunya cases in western hemisphere

Related Stories

WHO sees first chikungunya cases in western hemisphere

December 10, 2013

Cases of chikungunya have occurred on the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, marking the first time the mosquito-borne disease has spread in the western hemisphere, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday.

Scientists: Mosquito virus spreads to Americas

December 17, 2013

A nasty virus first detected in Africa that is spread to people by the bite of infected mosquitoes is being locally transmitted in the Americas for the first time on the tiny French Caribbean dependency of St. Martin, health ...

Painful and rapid spread of new virus in Caribbean

May 22, 2014

They suffer searing headaches, a burning fever and so much pain in their joints they can barely walk or use their hands. It's like having a terrible flu combined with an abrupt case of arthritis.

Haiti offers treatment as virus outbreak surges

May 23, 2014

Haitian health authorities will distribute pain medication to clinics around the country amid a surge in suspected cases of a mosquito-borne virus that is new to the region, a government official said Friday.

Recommended for you

Ebola virus mutations may help it evade drug treatment

September 11, 2015

Genetic mutations called "escape variants" in the deadly Ebola virus appear to block the ability of antibody-based treatments to ward off infection, according to a team of U.S. Army scientists and collaborators. Their findings, ...

Study finds viral protein that causes dengue shock

September 9, 2015

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have identified a key culprit responsible for the fluid loss and resulting shock that are the hallmark of severe - and potentially fatal - dengue virus infections.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.