Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 25, 2022 (SKNIS): St. Kitts and Nevis’ Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws, said that there are no reported cases of monkeypox in the twin-island Federation as of Monday, July 25, 2022, and there are no plans to restrict the movement of people or goods coming into the country at this time.
In a national address earlier today, CMO Laws noted there were 16,000 confirmed cases of monkeypox in over 75 countries. Several Caribbean countries are included on this list. However, she said that monkeypox is “much harder to transmit than the COVID-19 virus,” and there is no need to panic
“Based on WHO’s (World Health Organization) assessment the risk of exposure to monkeypox is deemed to be moderate,” Dr. Laws stated. “…Based on the latest recommendations made by the Pan American Health Organization and the Caribbean Public Health Agency regarding monkeypox there should be no restrictions on the entry of persons or imported goods from any country at this time.
The Chief Medical Officer informed the public that the Ministry of Health has strengthened its epidemiological disease surveillance system to ensure that potential cases of monkeypox are quickly identified and contained so as to reduce its spread.
Common symptoms of monkeypox include fever or chills, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and lethargy (exhaustion). Some patients experience skin rashes that resemble pimples or blisters that appear on the face, inside the mouth and other parts of the body. The rash goes through distinct stages before healing completely. Monkeypox can last from two weeks up to a month.
The virus is spread through close, intimate contact with an active case, by touching recently contaminated objects, droplet respiratory particles after prolonged face-to-face contact, and mother-to-child transmission through pregnancy. Suspected cases are encouraged to self-isolate at home and notify public health officials or a private medical physician.
The WHO declared monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern on July 23, 2022.“The Ministry of Health will continue to be vigilant for the importation of this virus and any other communicable disease and the people of the Federation will be updated accordingly,” Dr. Laws assured.