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