(CMR) Jamaica can now conduct testing for the Monkeypox virus following a regional training in laboratory detection and diagnosis of the viral condition arranged by the country's public health lab in collaboration with the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO).
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie said the workshop is part of the public health system's preparedness and response activities in the case of an outbreak.
“This hands-on training equips our public health team to ensure the timely detection of any suspected cases,” Dr. Bisasor-McKenzie said.
The training included ten participants from four Caribbean countries: Jamaica, Bahamas, Guyana, and Suriname.
“Human monkeypox virus, if found in Jamaica, would be considered an exotic or unusual communicable disease and should therefore be reported as a Class 1 notifiable disease. Healthcare workers (public and private) must report cases immediately on suspicion to the respective Parish Health Department and the National Surveillance Unit,” the Dr. Bisasor-McKenzie.
There have been no cases of monkeypox in Jamaica. Cases have been detected in 42 countries, including the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. As of Thursday, the United States Centers For Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 100 monkeypox cases in 20 states, with California (21), New York (17), and Illinois(13) seeing the largest number of cases.
People with monkeypox have developed a fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, and muscle aches, followed by a rash that starts on their face or in their mouth and then spreads to other parts of their body — particularly the hands and feet.