Guyana on alert for Monkeypox
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is collaborating with Massachusetts health officials on an investigation into a case of monkeypox. (Photo via BBC)

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) – Guyana has become the latest Caribbean Community country to go on alert for the Monkeypox virus, urging all medical personnel to immediately report severe skin rashes accompanied by other symptoms.

Chief Medical officer, Dr Narine Singh, in a public health advisory issued to all Regional Health Officers (RHOs), Medical Superintendents, Senior Medical Officers and surveillance units, said that an acute skin rash may present with lesions or blisters on the skin.

It may also be accompanied by headaches, fevers, myalgia (muscle aches and pains), back pain, asthenia (weakness) and lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes).

“Nothing is here as yet or anything, so it’s just for local physicians to keep aware. If they see any patients present with (symptoms) we might need to investigate it,” Dr Singh said.

Trinidad and Tobago last Friday urged people who have travelled to countries where the Monkeypox virus has been detected and “are symptomatic” to visit their nearest health provider.

Monkeypox is a rare disease that is caused by infection with monkeypox virus that belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae. The Orthopoxvirus genus also includes variola virus (which causes smallpox), vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox virus.

The Health Organization (WHO) reported that there were 92 cases of Monkeypox confirmed in non-endemic countries – that is areas where the virus is not consistently present.

“Vaccination for Monkeypox, where available, is being deployed to manage close contacts, such as health workers. WHO is convening experts to discuss recommendations on vaccination,” the world health agency said.

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