Guyana records first swine flu related death

(Antigua Observer) Guyana – A fifty year old businessman is the country’s first victim of Swine Flu caused by the H1N1 virus.

Vishnunarine Sugrim, also known as ‘Shook’, died on December 31, at the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, where he had been hospitalised for about two weeks.

Sugrim’s widow told local media that her husband returned home from China on December 11 with flu like symptoms.

When her husband was suspected to have contracted Swine Flu, Health authorities here sent samples of his blood to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad for testing.

He was later transferred to the Miami hospital, it was discovered that he was suffering from severe pneumonia, and a strain of H1N1 virus was found in his blood.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shamdeo Persaud, says the Public Health Ministry is monitoring some of Sugrim’s close relatives and health care workers who had attended to him at a private hospital.

Persaud explained that the virus can only be transmitted if an infected person coughs or sneezes .

The Ministry has tightened its surveillance security system at the main ports of entry in the country, primarily at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport and the Ogle International Airport.

Symptoms of the H1N1 virus include coughing, fever, sore throat, body aches and headaches.

Trinidad and Tobago, recently reported four H1N1 related deaths.

The Public Health Ministry is advising citizens to abstain from travelling to countries where the H1N1 virus is present, unless it’s very necessary.

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