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CARPHA investigates local sample for Monkeypox

Health Care 07 Jun, 2022 Follow News

CARPHA investigates local sample for Monkeypox

The Public Health Department is currently investigating a case of a young patient with rash and fever that medical officials have diagnosed as chickenpox.

As part of this process officials will send a sample from the patient to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), out of an abundance of caution, to be investigated for the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox, which has recently been confirmed as circulating in countries where it is not endemic, has symptoms similar to chickenpox.

Commenting that CARPHA will process the sample within one to two weeks, Chief Medical Officer, Dr Autilia Newton, noted that as chickenpox is an infectious disease Public Health had promptly isolated the patient and completed contact tracing.

“Other instances of chickenpox were found among close contacts of this case, and infection control measures were put in place to prevent spread. We want to further reassure the public that they can prevent the spread of the chickenpox and monkeypox virus by: practicing good hand hygiene, wearing masks, and avoiding contact with the lesions of any person who has a new rash and raised temperature.”

 They should also seek medical attention if they themselves experience these symptoms, Dr Newton remarked.

Minister of Health, Hon. Sabrina Turner, comments that her Ministry will share the outcome of the testing with the public, and noted that public health updates are available from local media houses and on the government website, www.gov.ky.

“Our Public Health Department is blessed with highly trained and highly experienced surveillance experts known for their effectiveness. This case is a successful example of the system at work. It allowed us to quickly identify a potential case, assess and deal with the matter locally, but also to send a sample to CARPHA for ease of mind, given the current spread of monkeypox. I am confident we will be able to deal with any scenario,”

Monkeypox is caused by the monkeypox virus, and closely related to the viruses that cause cowpox and smallpox. While symptoms resemble chickenpox, the fluid-filled lesions are larger and accompanied by high fever and swollen glands.

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