Since 13 May 2022, 1,258 laboratory confirmed cases of monkeypox have been reported to WHO from 28 Member States that are not endemic for monkeypox virus, across four WHO regions (data as of 8 June). There have been no deaths reported in non-endemic countries. The highest number of cases reported in a nonendemic country is the UK, and as of 8 June 321 cases have been reported there.
Most cases reported in non-endemic countries so far have presented through sexual health or other primary health services and have involved mainly, but not exclusively, men who have sex with men (MSM). Most confirmed cases with a travel history have reported travel to countries in Europe and North America, as opposed to countries in West or Central Africa where the virus is endemic.
WHO report that there may have been undetected transmission for several weeks as cases without direct travel links to endemic areas have concurrently and unexpectedly been reported across several regions. So far, the clinical presentation of monkeypox cases associated with this outbreak has been variable. Many cases are not presenting with the classically described clinical picture. Instead, cases have more presented atypically including presentation of only a few lesions/single lesion; lesions that begin in the genital or perineal/perianal area without further spread, lesions appearing at different developmental stages; and the appearance of lesions before other symptoms.
WHO currently assesses the risk at the global level as moderate, however an emergency committee is convening to assess whether it is a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).
There are no known cases of monkeypox virus detected in Cayman Islands.
The Public Health Department is still awaiting the result from a sample sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), out of an abundance of caution, to be investigated for the monkeypox virus.
Cayman Islands now have the capacity to diagnose monkeypox at the Public Health Laboratory.
Globally, the leading cause of deaths is cardiovascular diseases, which attributed to 32% of global deaths in 2019.
Cardiovascular diseases are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels, such as heart attacks and strokes which are mainly caused by a blockage that prevents blood from flowing to the heart or brain.
There are several risk factors for cardiovascular disease, some of which are behavioural. These include physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol. Addressing these risk factors has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease with behavioural change such as reduction of salt intake in the diet, cessation of tobacco use, regular physical activity and eating more fruit and vegetables. There are other determinants and factors associated with cardiovascular disease including poverty, stress and hereditary factors.
Last year, in 2021, there were a total of 71 deaths due to Cardiovascular disease in the Cayman Islands.
The Public Health Spotlight is published weekly by the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
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