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Monkeypox Case Could Be A False Alarm

Health authorities are investigating a possible Monkeypox case in the Turks and Caicos Islands, according to a news release from the Ministry of Health on Wednesday.

However, even though the individual is currently quarantine, the ministry said the case could turn out to be a false alarm based on information received so far.

The following is the Ministry of Health’s News Release:

As a result of the increased vigilance of the national surveillance system in response to the spread of monkeypox, the Ministry of Health and Human Services is investigating a suspected case of monkeypox.

Based on the information received thus far, it is unlikely that the individual has monkeypox, however, out of an abundance of caution, the individual is being quarantined as per the protocols pending the outcome of testing.

The Ministry thanks and urges its partners (public and private sector) to be unceasingly vigilant and follow established reporting protocols for detection of Monkey Pox and other communicable diseases.

Monkepox is a viral zoonosis and primarily occurs in central and west Africa, however more recently the a multi country outbreak has been occurring which is unprecedented with cases occurring in countries which are not usually endemic for this disease.

Since January 1 2022, 50 countries and territories have reported cases of monkeypox. This disease is spread via human-to-human transmission and can result from close contact with respiratory secretions, skin lesions of an infected person or recently contaminated objects (such as soiled clothing or linens).

Transmission via droplet respiratory particles usually requires prolonged face-to-face contact, which puts health workers, household members and other close contacts of active cases at greater risk.

The incubation period (interval from infection to onset of symptoms) of monkeypox is usually from 6 to 13 days but can range from 5 to 21 days.

Symptoms of monkeypox can include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

It also includes a rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.

The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.

Preventative measures include the following;

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.

  • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.

  • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.

  • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.

  • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

The Ministry of Health is recommending that persons with symptoms or signs of monkeypox to contact their health care provider for further advice and adhere to instructions to self-isolate in order to prevent further disease spread.

The Ministry of Health said it would continue to provide updates as they become available.



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