Saint Lucia health authorities increased monitoring of monkeypox after they were alerted to the fact that a crew member on a flight bound for the island tested positive for the virus.
However, according to officials, the person did not disembark from the plane upon its arrival.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs, on Monday, revealed that the epidemiological department was informed of the situation by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“As obtained with infectious diseases, the process of contact tracing required by the contact tracing team within the Ministry of Health is currently being implemented. The Ministry of Health said that all contacts of the case will be contacted, quarantined and monitored over a period of 21 days.”
With the significant increase in the number of confirmed monkeypox cases globally in recent weeks, Saint Lucia has strengthened the ability to manage suspected individuals or confirmed cases, the department added.
She said existing protocols regarding COVID-19 had been modified to allow Monkeypox to be administered.
“Anyone who has been exposed to monkeypox should be placed in quarantine and monitored by the physicians’ home monitoring team. The ability to test for monkeypox virus is within the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), and as such, samples will be taken from any individual who exhibits it. symptoms while he is in quarantine/isolation, and he will be sent directly to CARPHA for testing,” the health ministry said.
She added that Victoria Hospital has set up a dedicated ward exclusively for the care and management of anyone who gets a positive test result.
The ministry added that the management of monkeypox is done by treating the symptoms, and there is a capacity within the country to do this effectively.
According to the World Health Organization’s latest report, there are more than 2,100 confirmed cases globally, and at least one person has died.
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