COVID-19 measures a good defence against Monkeypox – Health Ministry
KINGSTON, Jamaica. Tuesday, May 24, 2022: The Ministry of Health &
Wellness is advising that there are no cases of monkeypox reported in the
country at this time, however, the public is being advised that the present
COVID-19 measures of practicing physical distancing, mask wearing and
frequent hand sanitization will also reduce the likelihood of transmission of the
Monkeypox is a rare disease that is similar to smallpox and can be transmitted by
contact and droplet exposure. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO)
has reported that the current outbreak is spreading primarily through sexual
contact. Over the last two weeks, monkeypox outbreaks have been reported in
Europe, North America and Australia. Most cases are linked to persons with
recent travel to countries where monkeypox is endemic, mainly in the region of
According to Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor McKenzie, “Persons
must report to the health department if fever and rash occurs following recent
international travel or close contact with persons who travelled within the
preceding three weeks. Healthcare workers are to have a heightened sense of
awareness of this illness and report suspected cases to the health department.”
In countries where monkeypox is endemic:
• Human to human transmission of monkeypox occurs by contact and
droplet exposure via exhaled large droplets.
• The incubation period of monkeypox is usually from 6 to 13 days but can
range from 5 to 21 days.
• Symptoms can be mild or severe, and associated with skin rash that can
be very itchy or painful. Severe disease may be fatal.
• The disease is often self-limiting with symptoms usually resolving
spontaneously within 14 to 21 days.
• Symptoms include fever, chills, intense headaches, exhaustion, backache,
muscle ache, swollen lymph nodes, and rash.
• Children are at higher risk, and monkeypox during pregnancy may lead to
complications, congenital monkeypox or stillbirth.
• The virus is normally found in animals but the disease may be transmitted
from animals to humans, usually through bites or scratches or
consumption of bush meat.
Milder cases of monkeypox may go undetected and represent a risk of
person-to-person transmission. There is likely to be little immunity to the
infection in those travelling.
For more information on monkeypox, join the Ministry of Health & Wellness for a
Virtual Webinar on Thursday, May 26, 2022 at 12:30 p.m. where experts will
explain the virus and answer questions from members of the public.