Guyana on alert for monkeypox | Caribbean

GEORGETOWN, Guiana, CMC –

Guyana has become the latest country in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to be 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 an acute skin rash can present with lesions or blisters.

It can also be accompanied by headache, fever, myalgias (muscle aches and pains), back pain, asthenia (weakness) and adenopathies (swollen lymph nodes).

“There’s nothing here yet or anything, so it’s just for local doctors to stay informed. If they see any patients present with (symptoms), we may need to investigate them,” Dr. Singh said.

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

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

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that there were 92 confirmed cases of monkeypox in non-endemic countries, that is, areas where the virus is not constantly present.

“Vaccination against monkeypox, where available, is being implemented to manage close contacts such as healthcare workers. The WHO is convening experts to discuss recommendations on vaccination,” the world health agency said.

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