Best: Be vigilant

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Anton Best says the Ministry of Health is finding it challenging to develop protocols for monkeypox screening at the borders, noting that much would depend on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) ability to narrow down the geographical linkages in transmission for the rare virus.

Best said based on the information from the WHO thus far, no discernible patterns of travel has been established among those who have contracted the disease, critical information that would allow for screening of arriving passengers.

“Normally we would do things like screening on the landing form, so for example if you believe that there is a geographical origin and that the persons who are getting it have a common travel history, we would implement that type of screening.

“However, what seems to be happening is that spread of the disease is not dependent on the geographical area travelled. We therefore have to depend on what the WHO is advising countries because it does not seem to be linked to persons travelling to specific regions where this disease is typically endemic. It is really too early to say whether it is going to come to Barbados, it might or it might not,” said Best.  (CLM)

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