March 12, 2020 / 1:39 AM / 21 days ago

Guyana confirms first case of coronavirus in woman who returned from U.S.

GEORGETOWN (Reuters) - Guyana on Wednesday confirmed its first case of coronavirus infection in a Guyanese woman who died after returning to the South American country last week from the United States, according to a statement from the president.

The 52-year-old woman sought medical care after arriving in Guyana on March 5 and died on Wednesday morning, the statement said.

Earlier tests diagnosed her with uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension, but more tests on Wednesday afternoon after she died confirmed she had coronavirus, President David Granger said in the statement.

Authorities were tracing other people with whom she had contact, and would continue to screen travelers arriving from high-risk countries, it said.

So far, Latin America has been spared the worst of the virus. About 100 cases have been reported in the region since Brazil announced the first on Feb. 26.

Neighboring Venezuela has yet to confirm a case, though health workers worry that the crisis-hit country’s dilapidated health system is unprepared to detect or contain the virus. Venezuela’s other neighboring nations, Colombia and Brazil, have both confirmed cases.

Cuba also confirmed its first cases on Wednesday.

Reporting by Neil Marks. Editing by Gerry Doyle; Writing by Angus Berwick

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