Patient being treated for severe Zika-related illness in St Vincent
SOURCE: IWitness News, SVG
The Ministry of Health in St Vincent and the Grenadines said Saturday that health care professionals at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital were treating a patient infected with a potentially paralyzing condition suspected to be related to the mosquito-borne Zika Virus.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Luis de Shong said in a statement that the patient, an adult, has been diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS)
The World Health Organization (WHO) says that in Guillain-Barre syndrome, the body’s immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. The syndrome can affect the nerves that control muscle movement as well as those that transmit feelings of pain, temperature and touch. This can result in muscle weakness and loss of sensation in the legs and or arms.
The health official said the patient is “stable and is receiving the recommended treatment, immunoglobulin.”
Meanwhile, the ministry said it is closely monitoring pregnant women who may have been exposed to the ZIKA virus and providing them with psychosocial support.
“Additionally, the ministry is providing medicated mosquito nets to all pregnant women who are registered at our antenatal clinics,” de Shong said.
He appealed to Vincentians to get rid of mosquito breeding sites in their homes, yards and workplaces and to use insect repellants or wear long sleeve shirts, long skirts or pants to avoid being bitten by the aedes aegypti mosquito, the vector which carries Zika Chikungunya and Denque Fever.