Jamaica strengthens its response and prevention of Monkeypox as the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak of the virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
On July 6, 2022, a man from the United Kingdom was the first person on the island to get monkeypox. And yesterday, July 25, 2022, the Ministry of Health confirmed another case — a male traveller who recently came from New York.
Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor McKenzie, Jamaica’s Chief Medical Officer, says that the Ministry has intensified its surveillance and monitoring.
“The World Health Organization’s declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern helps to strengthen the country’s coordinated response to prevention, early detection, and stopping transmission,” the CMO said.
Jamaicans are urged to stay alert and follow the infection prevention measures similar to those for COVID-19 to limit the spread of monkeypox, such as frequent hand washing or sanitizing, wearing a mask, and keeping a safe distance.
The Ministry of Health also informed the public that the spread of Monkeypox from one person to another can happen through:
- direct contact with skin sores or scabs caused by monkeypox;
- contaminated personal items like clothing, bed linens, or towels used by an infected person;
- and respiratory droplets spread when a person with a monkeypox rash coughs or sneezes.
Monkeypox usually causes mild to moderate symptoms, such as fever, severe headache, swollen lymph nodes, back pain, sore muscles, and/or skin rash/es. Jamaicans who notice these symptoms are advised to isolate themselves and call their health center or doctor before going to see them.
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