Grenadian Health Authorities On Alert Following Confirmation Of Monkey Pox Virus In Jamaica

PR – The National Disease Surveillance Unit in the Ministry of  Health, Wellness, and Religious Affairs is aware of, and is closely monitoring reports of the first confirmed case of the monkey pox virus in Jamaica. 

The confirmation was made on Wednesday, July 6, 2022, by Jamaica’s Minister for  Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, who explained that the patient had  entered the country on June 30, 2022. 

The monkey pox virus is a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae,  and can be transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or  animal, or with contaminated material such as bedding. 

The main symptoms of monkey pox are fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes. The virus  is transmitted from one person to another by coming into close contact with lesions, body  fluids, and respiratory droplets. 

There are no confirmed cases in Grenada at this time, but people with a recent travel  history from any country where cases have been detected and who are symptomatic, as  described above, are encouraged to immediately notify the Ministry of Health, and  exercise caution when visiting their nearest health care provider. 

In May of this year, Grenada issued its first public health advisory, notifying the public of  the emerging public health threat concerning the detection of cases of monkey pox, as  reported by the World Health Organisation, (WHO). 

While this development is being monitored, Grenada’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shawn  Charles, is appealing to the public to be vigilant and to practice good hygiene.  

As the carnival season approaches, he is encouraging everyone to practice physical  distancing, to wash and sanitize hands often, wear a mask when in the company of  individuals from different households, and avoid contact with people with skin lesions.  Contact must also be avoided with their clothing and bedding. 

The Ministry of Health will keep abreast of developments and make information available  when necessary. 

For information regarding the list of the countries affected by monkeypox, please visit the  WHO website at www.who.int/emergencies/emergency-events/item/monkeypox.