Increase in cases of diarrhoea, vomiting in infants at Linden Hospital

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…numbers “not alarming” – officials

There has reportedly been an increase in the number of children treated for diarrhoea and vomiting at the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC) in Region 10 (Upper Demerara- Berbice) over the past week.

However, officials at the medical institution have indicated that the numbers were not alarming. Chairman of the Board of the medical institution, Mortimer Mingo said the situation should not be regarded as an “outbreak”, while he asserted that the Hospital was equipped with the required drugs to treat such cases.

“It was reported to me that…we have seen an increase in the number of babies, mostly infants, coming in with diarrhoea and vomiting. We do not consider the amount of people we’ve seen – that it has reached any epidemic stage,” he said.

Mingo added that while the institution was currently unaware of the source of the illness, LHC Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Farouk Riyasat; paediatricians; the hospital’s Medical Superintendent, Dr Steve Mark; staff and the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) are on top of the situation.

He also revealed that many of the patients who were admitted to the Hospital in connection with the symptoms have since been discharged.

LHC Medical Superintendent, Dr Mark also explained to Guyana Times that while there has been an increase in patients seen with the symptoms, the numbers were not alarming. He said while the patients were from Linden, they were not from one particular location, but various communities.

In the event of an outbreak, Dr Mark said, the cases usually are derived from a particular location. As a result, he maintained that a connection cannot be easily detected.

“We have noticed it. We have the staff on hand; we have the doctors on hand; and we have the ward facility at hand. We are making note of it, we are looking at the data. The regional people have been informed. I think even some sampling was done. So, we are looking at all the factors and then we can pinpoint a particular area, location or cause, because right now we don’t know what is causing it,” he explained.

Dr Mark affirmed that the Hospital was monitoring the situation, while he explained that information would be gathered following a meeting with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) later on Monday. Asked whether the Public Health Ministry was made aware of the situation, he posited that officials would inform the state Agency once the relevant information was gathered.

In light of the reports, Region 10 Chairman Renis Morian visited the hospital on Monday and met with officials there in an effort to get a first-hand look at the situation.