The Ministry of Health remains vigilant for Monkeypox after its appearance in JA

Monkeypox has been in the Caribbean region since July 6, but there have been no confirmed or suspected cases of Monkeypox in Barbados to date.

The detected case is in Jamaica.

In this context, the Ministry of Health and Welfare assures the public that it continues to maintain a state of vigilance in response to the ongoing outbreak in several countries of the disease.

The Department of Health and Welfare is committed to maintaining its active surveillance and sensitization of port health personnel on the management of the Monkeypox virus. The ministry also said it would keep the public informed of any concerning public health developments.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently described the outbreak as spread across five major regions, including Europe, America, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Western Pacific and Africa. In the Caribbean region, Jamaica confirmed its first case of Monkeypox yesterday, Wednesday July 6th.

Monkeypox is a disease of global health importance that occurs mainly near the tropical rainforests of Central and West Africa, the main hosts being rodents and non-human primates such as monkeys. However, this current outbreak is identified in non-endemic areas and is spreading human-to-human, with the majority of cases seen in Europe.

Humans can contract the virus through direct contact with an infectious rash, scabies, or body fluids from an infected person or animal. Human-to-human transmission can occur through prolonged face-to-face, intimate physical contact or touching objects that have already been handled by an infected person. Development of symptoms can occur up to 21 days after contact with a case.

The virus typically started with flu-like symptoms (fever and body aches), with swelling of the lymph nodes and progression to a generalized rash on the face and body. The red bumps eventually turn into pus-filled blisters that form a crust.

In the current outbreak, this classic progression may not hold because cases have presented with a rash on only one area of ​​the body. This illness can last about two to four weeks.

There is no specific treatment for Monkeypox virus, however, medication can be used to manage symptoms.

Maria J. Book