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Posted: Monday 18 July, 2022 at 3:09 PM

Health Ministry denies Monkeypox presence in SKN

By: Staff Reporter,

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - WITH the number of territories within the region confirming the presence of the Monkeypox virus, local health officials are denying the virus has made its way into the Federation. 
    Jamaica and Barbados have thus far confirmed the presence of the virus within their islands, while St. Lucia confirmed that an airline crew employee had tested positive upon arrival into Castries.
    Just yesterday (Jul. 17), Martinique confirmed its first case of the ailment.
    In Basseterre, the Ministry of Health reported that as of yesterday, “there are no reported suspected, probable, or confirmed cases of Monkeypox in the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis”.
    It was disclosed that four other CARICOM member states have been affected by the travel of infected individuals and their close contacts so far, adding that “the Monkeypox outbreak has not affected St. Kitts & Nevis yet and there are no plans for border closure”.
    Concerns have been over the border measures in place to capture the persons coming from the major tourism source markets - the United States, Canada and Europe - all confirming cases of the ailment. 
    Monkeypox has been described as a rare disease caused by infection with the Monkeypox virus which is part of the same family of viruses as Smallpox. 
    “Monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox symptoms include: fever, chills, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion and a typical rash that looks like pimples or blisters inside [the] mouth, on face and other parts of the body like hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus,” the Ministry of Health explained.
    The illness typically lasts two to four weeks and can spread from person-to-person through direct contact with an infected person, touching contaminated clothes or linen of infected persons and mother–to–child transmission through pregnancy.
    The Ministry noted: “Monkeypox is a different virus from the virus that causes COVID-19. Monkeypox is much harder to transmit. There is a limited likelihood of spread of this disease in the Caribbean region. Based on the latest recommendations made by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) regarding monkeypox there should be no restrictions on entry of persons or imported goods from any country at this time”.
    The Ministry of Health expressed that it would continue to be vigilant for the importation of the virus and any other communicable disease and that the people of the Federation would be updated accordingly.



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