Clarendon confirms first case of Guillain-Barré syndrome
The Clarendon Health Department has reported that the parish has confirmed its first case of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS).
Medical Officer of Health for Clarendon Dr Kimberly Scarlett Campbell, while speaking at the monthly sitting of the Clarendon Parish Council yesterday, said that three suspected cases of GBS were presented to the health department, but after testing only one has been confirmed.
Of the other two cases, one was confirmed to be Scoliosis, while the other is an illness called Myasthenia Gravis.
GBS, which has been linked to the Zika virus, is a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system, resulting in weakness and tingling in the legs. In severe cases, GBS can cause paralysis.
Scarlett Campbell says the person with the confirmed case is recovering well.
So far, Clarendon has recorded six confirmed cases of the Zika virus and thousands of suspected cases.
"Zika cases are down, but we do have intermittent cases coming to us," she said.
Deputy Mayor Uphell Purcell alluded that many more persons in the parish could have the Zika virus, and questioned what the Ministry of Heath and the health department have been doing in terms of testing and treatment.
In response, Scarlett Campbell said, "When there is an outbreak and quite a number of persons coming down with it, we don't have to sample everybody. We do like one in 10 samples, and in such cases persons can be clinical ly confirmed."
She noted that some persons might even have Zika-like symptoms, but they might not necessarily have the virus, as similar acute viral illnesses such as Dengue or Leptospirosis which are still active viruses.
Scarlett Campbell says the status of the parish is stable and the health department continues to monitor the viruses.
She says the Ministry of Health is to roll out a second phase of the vector control programme of which Clarendon will be a part.