The Surveillance Unit of the Ministry of Health, Wellness, and Religious Affairs is aware of, and is closely monitoring the first reported confirmed case of the monkeypox virus in the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago.
The case was confirmed on Tuesday, 12 July 2023, by the Ministry of Health of Trinidad and Tobago, which explained that contact tracing procedures were initiated as per its response protocols.
The monkeypox virus is a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae. It can be transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, or with contaminated material such as bedding. It is also transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, and respiratory droplets.
The main symptoms of monkeypox are fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes.
As monitoring of this latest development continues, Grenada’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Shawn Charles is appealing to the public to be vigilant and practice good hygiene. “To date, there are no suspected or confirmed cases detected in Grenada, Carriacou or Petite Martinique and so there is no need for alarm. However, the public is reminded that monkeypox, like the Covid-19 virus, continues to circulate worldwide, and as a result, individuals owe it to themselves to be vigilant and proactive.”
Dr Charles encourages everyone to practice physical distancing, wash and sanitise hands often, wear a mask when in the company of individuals from different households, and avoid contact with people with typical skin lesions, including with their clothing and bedding, especially as the carnival festive season approaches. Prevention is key.
The Ministry of Health, Wellness and Religious Affairs will keep abreast of any further development and will continue to provide further credible information via the Government Information Service (GIS) and the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Religious Affairs social media platforms.