The Ministry of Health and Wellness has stepped up its surveillance for signs of monkeypox in light of detected cases in Australia, Canada, Europe and the United States.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Rhonda Sealey-Thomas, told state television that this could change, as with the movement of people, it may only be a matter of time be- fore monkeypox is detected in the region and the country.
The symptoms of monkeypox, a virus transmitted to humans from animals, are similar to those seen in patients infected with small- pox, although it is generally less severe, according to the World Health Organization.
As such, the CMO has informed physicians throughout the country to be on high alert.
These include a high fe- ver and signature fluid filled papules or “pox”.
“They have to be on the lookout for persons present- ing with fever and the a typical rash, and they should report this to the Ministry of Health Epidemiology Unit or to me as Chief Medical Officer, so that we can detect any case of Monkey-
sion, so that we don’t have more than expected cases in Antigua and Barbuda,” the CMO remarked.
To date, there have been no cases of the virus report- ed in the Caribbean.
Antigua and Barbuda’s
Dr. Sealey-Thomas said one detected case will be considered an outbreak, and the health ministry is seeking to prevent this at all costs.
“I am urging physicians to be vigilant and report, and for persons as well, if you develop a fever and an atypical rash, pustules, vesicles, please seek medical attention as soon as possible, especially if you have a travel history, that can raise a red flag as well.”
According to the WHO, “Monkeypox virus is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding. The incubation period of monkeypox is usually from 6 to 13 days, but can range from 5 to 21 days.” SOURCE: POINTE XPRESS
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