200 mining employees being assessed for leptospirosis
Region 1 outbreak
Health Minister Volda Lawrence has confirmed that some 200 mining employees are being assessed for leptospirosis after several workers of the Guyana Manganese Inc (GMI) fell ill and one died.
During an interview on the side-lines of a handing-over ceremony on Tuesday, the Health Minister also said that the Matthews Ridge Hospital was being sanitised and operations would return to normalcy soon.
She added that while the current situation does not require the intervention of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Ministry is working closely with the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO).
Minister Lawrence noted that several tests were done on the miners and samples will be sent to the Caribbean Reference Lab, St Vincent and the Grenadines, for further evaluation.
On Saturday, a medical team from the Mabaruma Hospital was deployed to Matthews Ridge. Eight persons were air-dashed to the city after one died.
The symptoms the men exhibited were pain, fever, headache and respiratory distress.
Meanwhile on Monday, six more miners from Matthews Ridge were flown out to the city with similar symptoms and were patients at the Georgetown Public Hospital.
During the interview on Tuesday, Lawrence noted that there were no reports of any new cases at health centres in any neighbouring villages. As such, she said there was no suspected connection to the Venezuela border situation, since only the miners who were working at a particular tunnel have been affected thus far.
The manganese mining company has been instructed to halt further exploration until the Public Health Ministry and a team from the Occupational Health and Safety Department of the Social Protection Ministry advise further on the matter.
While the specialists continue to work on the seven patients admitted on Saturday, results have shown that two patients tested positive for Leptospirosis, which is known to be spread by direct contact with rat urine or faeces.