Updated: Jul 21, 2022 7:58 PM
A World Health Organization image of the monkeypox virus
The first confirmed case of monkeypox in Bermuda was revealed this evening by health officials, with an unidentified patient believed to be in isolation.
The Department of Health is investigating potential close contacts and will notify anyone who may have been exposed, a spokeswoman said.
The virus, which causes a flu-like illness and rash, has spread to a range of communities outside Africa since a cluster of infections was identified in Britain in early May.
The ministry said in May that the island was on high alert for virus cases.
Jason Hayward, Acting Minister of Health, said today: “Monkey pox is rare, not life threatening and Bermuda is well prepared to detect the disease and take appropriate public health action to prevent its spread.
“The Department of Health has provided guidance to primary care providers and the Bermuda Molecular Diagnostics and Research Laboratory on specimen handling.
“The hospital also has appropriate isolation facilities to support treatment.”
Mr Hayward added that the department was working with the Caribbean Public Health Agency, the Pan American Health Organization and the UK Health Security Agency.
“Our port health officials know how to screen and recognize possible cases and take appropriate action,” he said.
“Our healthcare professionals know how to identify, immediately isolate and report cases to local and regional health authorities.”
Monkeypox can take between five and 21 days for the first symptoms to appear.
Usually, the virus causes flu-like symptoms: fever, chills, rash, and lesions on the face or genitals.
Most people recover within a few weeks without requiring hospital treatment.
Anyone who suspects they have caught or been exposed to the virus should call their doctor or the Communicable Disease Clinic at 278-6442.
· For more information on monkeypox, click on the PDF under ‘Related Media’.