Jamaica confirms first locally transmitted case of monkeypox
FILE - This 1997 image provided by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the right arm and torso of a patient, whose skin displayed a number of lesions due to what had been an active case of monkeypox. (CDC via AP, File)

ST JAMES, Jamaica - Jamaica has confirmed its first locally transmitted case of monkeypox.

It brings to three the number of monkeypox cases confirmed in the island.

The disclosure was made a short while ago by Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton at a ceremony to mark the resumption of construction work on the Western Children & Adolescents Hospital in St James.

"We have confirmed a third case of monkeypox only a couple of hours ago,” Tufton said, adding that the patient “apparently contracted the virus from someone who had the virus here.

“It in essence changes the complexion of the challenge that we face," Tufton told journalists. "In this third case, the individual is being quarantined at home because their facility does allow for it and if the person is cooperative, this is what we will do with the cases."

Tufton said the health ministry’s technical team is currently having dialogue on the matter of local transmission of the disease, which he said was anticipated.

"They are meeting. They are looking at their consulting, including with our bilateral and multilateral partners... looking at their protocols which we have put out already... having a discussion with the medical teams in the respective parishes and reviewing how we address concerns around public information, how we address concerns around vaccines, how we address concerns around the contact tracing and quarantining if necessary," stated Tufton.

The minister said an appropriate correspondence will be sent out shortly.

Anthony Lewis

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