Monday, April 22, 2024

Jamaica confirms local transmission of monkeypox

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KINGSTON – Jamaica on Friday confirmed its first locally transmitted Monkeypox virus case, bringing to three, the overall number of cases of the virus on the island.

“We have confirmed a third case of Monkeypox only a couple of hours ago,” Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton said, adding that the patient “apparently contracted the virus from someone who had the virus here”.

Speaking at a ceremony to mark the resumption of construction work on the Western Children & Adolescents Hospital in St James, south of here, Tufton said the new case “in essence changes the complexion of the challenge that we face.

“In this third case, the individual is being quarantined at home because their facility does allow for it and if the person is cooperative, this is what we will do with the cases, Tufton said, adding that the health ministry’s technical team is currently having dialogue on the matter of local transmission of the disease that had been anticipated.

“They are meeting. They are looking at their consulting, including with our bilateral and multilateral partners… looking at their protocols which we have put out already… having a discussion with the medical teams in the respective parishes and reviewing how we address concerns around public information, how we address concerns around vaccines, how we address concerns around the contact tracing and quarantining if necessary,” Tufton added.

Apart from Jamaica, Bermuda, The Bahamas, Barbados are among Caribbean countries reporting cases of the Monkeypox that is usually a self-limited disease with the symptoms lasting from two to four weeks. Severe cases can occur. In recent times, the case fatality ratio has been around three to six per cent.

Monkeypox is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding. (CMC)

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