Health Ministry investigating virus outbreak at Suddie Hospital

As reports have surfaced about an outbreak of the Bronco Pneumonia, doctors, nurses and healthcare providers at Suddie Hospital in Region two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) are now questioning their safety as the number of recorded cases continues to climb.

The existence of the illness was confirmed by Minister of Public Health Dr George Norton who told Guyana

Health Minister, Dr George Norton
Health Minister,
Dr George Norton

Times on Saturday that the number of cases reported to the ministry has been alarming.

During a telephone interview, Dr Norton related that there have been reports of seven confirmed cases where the victims are all pregnant mothers.

While not quantifying the spread of the illness as an epidemic, the minister pointed out that there have been rising concerns by health officials both at the level of Central Government and the regional authority.

“We have suspected that it might be some form of an epidemic as there have been many reports of the virus in the past weeks. However, we haven’t deemed it an epidemic thus far,” he related.

However, a team has been dispatched to the area to carry out research in an effort to locate the causative factors responsible for the rapid spread of the illness.

In the case where healthcare workers have blamed the insanitary state of the hospital for the escalation of cases, Norton told this publication that he has not been made aware of the reports but will have the team investigate the complaint.

Mention was also made of the Primary Health Care project which will not only cater for the physical renovation of the Suddie Hospital, but will go beyond to ensure that the health institution in completely evolved.

Over the past month, staff at the Suddie Hospital had become worried over the outbreak which has plagued the maternity section, infecting chiefly pregnant women. These persons had displayed initial signs and symptoms ranging from skin rashes to respiratory disorders.

According to reports from the hospital, there have been a number of incidents where pregnant women are admitted in a healthy state, but after just a few hours, they begin to show common signs and symptoms of the illness.

Due to this, the link had been made between the ward and the presence of the virus at the hospital.

Adding to that, midwives and doctors working in the ward have also become infected.

As such a report was made to the Ministry of Public Health and an investigation was launched. Samples sent for testing confirmed that indeed there is an outbreak of the illness in the ward.

However this publication understands that the illness has become even more amplified since there is no available treatment for such an outbreak.

To this extent hospital employees are lobbying for the entire ward to be fumigated and sanitised. They have also recommended that another area in the hospital be used as the maternity section until the sanitising is completed—to avoid further infections.