Monkeypox Outbreak Worry; Authorities On High Alert

Ministry making plans to keep the new virus from coming here. World Health Organisation provides insight on this disease
23 May 2022 16:43
Monkeypox Outbreak Worry; Authorities On High Alert

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is consolidating plans to prevent any chance of the spread of monkeypox in Fiji.

This was after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared an outbreak of the virus after 80 cases were confirmed across 11 countries including the United Kingdom, United States of America and Australia last Friday.

According to the WHO, monkeypox is a disease caused by the monkeypox virus. It is a viral zoonotic disease, meaning that it could spread from animals to humans. It can also spread between people.

Somehow similar to chickenpox, its symptoms begin with fever, headache, muscle pains, swollen lymph nodes, and feeling tired.

This is then followed by a rash that forms blisters and crusts over the body.

Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong said over the past few days they met to consolidate plans and would make an announcement on measures the ministry would put in place.

In a statement by the WHO over the weekend, the organisation was working with the affected countries and others to expand disease surveillance to find and support people who may be affected, and to provide guidance on how to manage the disease.


Q AND A with the World Health Organisation

What are the symptoms of monkey-pox?

Symptoms of monkeypox typically include a fever, intense headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy, swollen lymph nodes and a skin rash or lesions.

The rash usually begins within one to three days of the start of a fever. Lesions can be flat or slightly raised, filled with clear or yellowish fluid, and can then crust, dry up and fall off. The number of lesions on one person can range from a few to several thousand.

Treatment: Symptoms typically last between two to four weeks and go away on their own without treatment. If you think you have symptoms that could be monkeypox, seek advice from your health care provider. Let them know if you have had close contact with someone who has suspected or con-firmed monkeypox.


Can people die from monkeypox?

In most cases, the symptoms of monkeypox go away on their own within a few weeks, but in some individuals, they can lead to medical complications and even death.

Newborns, children and people with underlying immune deficiencies may be at risk of more serious symptoms and death from monkeypox.


How does monkeypox spread from person to person?

People with monkeypox are infectious while they have symptoms (normally for between two and four weeks).

You can catch monkeypox through close physical contact with someone who has symptoms.

The rash, bodily fluids (such as fluid, pus or blood from skin lesions) and scabs are particularly infectious. Clothing, bedding, towels or objects like eating utensils/dishes that have been contaminated with the virus from contact with an infected person can also infect others.

Ulcers, lesions or sores in the mouth can also be infectious, meaning the virus can spread through saliva.

People who closely interact with someone, who is infectious, including health workers, household members and sexual partners, are therefore at greater risk for infection.


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