(CMR) Jamaica has confirmed a second case of monkeypox in a male who recently returned to the island from New York, USA. The Health and Wellness Ministry said the patient is in isolation.
Jamaica confirmed its first case of monkeypox earlier this month in a traveler from the UK. The patient created a scare when he left the hospital before he was released; however, he was found a day later and placed back in isolation.
This second case comes a day after the World Health Organization activated its highest alert level for the growing monkeypox outbreak, declaring the virus a public health emergency of international concern.
This alert means the WHO views the outbreak as a significant threat to global health, which requires a coordinated international response to prevent the virus from spreading further and potentially escalating into a pandemic.
The declaration does not impose requirements on governments but serves as an urgent call for action.
WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “We have an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly, through new modes of transmission, about which we understand too little. For all of these reasons, I have decided that the global monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern.”
More than 16,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported across more than 70 countries so far this year, and the number of confirmed infections rose 77% from late June through early July, according to WHO data. Men who have sex with men are currently at the highest risk of infection.