MOH manages six suspected Monkeypox cases in St. Lucia

The Department of Health, Welfare and Senior Citizenship continues to monitor the Monkeypox situation globally, regionally and nationally. As of July 20, 2022, 15,378 cases of Monkeypox have been diagnosed worldwide in 71 countries, including 15,135 in 65 countries that have never reported Monkeypox, including Caribbean countries.

As of Wednesday, July 20, 2022, the Saint Lucia Department of Health is managing six suspected cases of Monkeypox, four of which have no travel history outside of Saint Lucia.

These suspected cases are being managed in isolation pending Monkeypox test results. The epidemiology unit of the Ministry of Health is carrying out contact tracing for these suspected cases.

Monkeypox is a viral disease caused by the Monkeypox virus which is usually transmitted from animals to humans in some African countries, but can also be transmitted from human to human by direct contact with skin lesions or by indirect contact with objects contaminated with lesion material.

The virus is also transmitted by respiratory droplets. Human-to-human transmission is responsible for the majority of cases in this 2022 Monkeypox outbreak.

The disease is characterized by the onset of fever, headache, back pain, muscle aches, weakness, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash that progresses through several stages, ranging from a flat and red to small raised bumps like pimples.

These then turn into fluid-filled blisters that fill with pus before drying to form scabs that fall off as new skin forms over the sites of injury. A person remains contagious from the onset of symptoms until the lesions disappear with the formation of new skin. Symptoms can last two to four weeks.

The Department of Health encourages people who develop these symptoms, including a rash, to go to the nearest health care facility for an evaluation.

Prompt identification and management of Monkeypox cases will limit the spread of this infectious disease in the community.

Others are urged to take steps that limit their risk of contracting monkeypox.

These measures include washing hands frequently with soap and water or using hand sanitizers, wearing face masks in public spaces, and practicing physical distancing.

Additionally, people are encouraged to eat a healthy diet, avoid excessive alcohol consumption, quit smoking, and exercise regularly. People with chronic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes are encouraged to work with their health care provider to ensure control of these conditions.

The public is advised to use the Department of Health as a reliable source of information on monkeypox in Saint Lucia. Individuals can receive this information on the Facebook page of the Ministry of Health and on the Facebook page of the Office of Health Education.

The Department of Health, Wellness and Senior Citizenship will provide updates to the public as additional information becomes available.

Leave a Comment