Opposition calls for full contact tracing in monkeypox case

This file photo made available by the UK Health Security Agency on June 22, 2022 shows a collage of monkeypox rash lesions at an undisclosed date and location. The World Health Organization on July 1, 2022 called for urgent action to prevent the spread of monkeypox in Europe, noting that cases there had tripled in the past two weeks.

In the wake of health officials confirming the first case of monkeypox on the island on Wednesday, opposition health spokesman Dr Morais Guy said that while there is no reason to panic, full contact tracing and isolation should be performed to exclude all infected persons. traveler interacted with.

“We have been advised that quarantine of these contacts has been put in place, but what needs to be questioned are the other places and environments the traveler was in before symptoms developed. You cannot not just look at your family members that you live around, but you have to look at those he has connected with in the community and elsewhere, so the government must ensure that contact tracing and isolation of people with who that person is in contact with are properly accounted for,” Dr Guy told the Jamaica Observer.

Health and Welfare Minister Dr Christopher Tufton, making the announcement at an emergency press conference on Wednesday afternoon, said the patient, a man who recently traveled from the UK Uni, presented to the public health system on July 5, having arrived on the island some five days earlier. He said the patient had been isolated while having confirmatory tests carried out as well as his close contacts quarantined after contact tracing which will continue, if necessary.

According to Dr Tufton, the island’s emergency operations center has been activated while a review of all isolation facilities is underway to assess the ability to handle both monkeypox and COVID-19. .

But the opposition spokesman chastised the health minister for being late in firing on the matter.

“You will recall that six weeks ago I urged the government to put measures in place in case monkeypox reached Jamaica. I was disappointed to hear the Minister at the press conference of “emergency to say that our isolation facilities are being reviewed. I expected this would have been done before to make sure everything went well,” he said.

“It would now seem, based on the way he presented himself, that nothing has been done and now we are running around like chickens that have lost their minds. To say that the isolation facilities are currently under review would seem to me , to me and anyone who looks to him, that only now is here that they are going to tell their main authority to prepare them. That is my main concern after the press conference, ”said Dr Guy.

An upsurge in monkeypox cases has been reported since early May outside countries in West and Central Africa where the disease has long been endemic.

To date, more than 5,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported in 53 countries around the world that don’t normally report the disease, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Symptoms of monkeypox include rash, fever, headache, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion and can last up to two to four weeks.