Guyana on Monday became the latest Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to confirm a case of the monkeypox virus with health officials saying that the patient is hospitalized in a stable condition.
Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony said health authorities are conducting contact tracing and that the patient, a man, lives in Region Four. He said contact tracing has been done and several persons have since been quarantined
“We are now working with the patient; the patient is stable, and we’ll continue working with that patient to make sure that everything is fine,” Dr. Anthony said in a video posted on the government’s Department of Public Information (DPI) website.
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The patient has been admitted to the Ocean View Infectious Disease Hospital. He is in his 50s and was first suspected of being infected over the last weekend.
The health minister said the government is working with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to obtain test kits as well as a supply of vaccines from the lone global manufacturer.
Dr. Anthony said with the emergence of the first case of monkeypox, Guyana has activated its response.
This includes laboratories, trained laboratory personnel, and physicians who have been trained to identify the viral disease. He says there is no need to panic but he is appealing to Guyanese to take all precautions.
More than 42,000 cases have been detected in 95 countries including Barbados, The Bahamas, Bermuda, and Jamaica.
The symptoms for the virus include a rash that initially looks like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy. Other symptoms of monkeypox can include, fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion, muscle aches, backache, headache as well as sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough.
Monkeypox symptoms usually start within three weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash one to four days later.
Monkeypox can be spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts two to four weeks.
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