KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Ministry of Health on Sunday said that a second case of Monkeypox has been confirmed in the island.
In a statement, the Ministry said “this is another imported case in a male traveler who recently returned to the island from New York.”
The patient has since been placed in isolation and is in stable condition. The case is also being investigated by health officials and contact tracing is underway.
The Ministry again reminded Jamaicans of the need to remain vigilant by heightening “their adherence to the infection prevention measures for COVID-19 which are effective in limiting spread of Monkeypox, notably, frequent handwashing/sanitisation, mask wearing and physical distancing.”
The second case of the virus, follows the announcement by World Health Organisation’s (WHO), on Saturday, of the Monkeypox outbreak being declared a global health emergency.
The classification is the highest alert that the WHO can issue and follows a worldwide upsurge in cases.
According to the WHO’s Director General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, more than 16 000 cases have now been reported from 75 countries.
He said the emergency committee had been unable to reach a consensus on whether the monkeypox outbreak should be classified as a global health emergency.
However, he said the outbreak had spread around the world rapidly and he had decided that it was indeed of international concern.
In the Caribbean – in addition to Jamaica, there have reports of Monkeypox in Bermuda, St Lucia, The Bahamas and Barbados.
Monkeypox was first discovered in central Africa in the 1950s.
Health officials are recommending that people at highest risk of exposure to monkeypox – including some gay and bisexual men, as well as some healthcare workers – should be offered a vaccine.
Initial symptoms typically include a high fever, swollen lymph nodes and a blistery, chickenpox-like rash or lesions – often on the mouth or genitals in the recent cases. Infections are usually mild. (CMC)