Ministry of Health and Wellness monitoring outbreak of monkeypox in other countries

Thursday, May 26th, 2022

While the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) is currently monitoring the spread of monkeypox in other countries. Several cases have been reported in Europe and the United States of America. According to the staff at MOHW, monkeypox could reach Belize because international travel has increased in the country.

The contagious disease originated in Central and West Africa. It is like smallpox but less severe. Some symptoms include fever, headaches, itchy rash, and lesions, mainly on the face, hands, and feet. It is spread by close contact with an infected person or animal, or touching clothing or bedding used by someone with the rash. The smallpox vaccine and antiviral drugs can help relieve symptoms of this disease. Once infected, the virus’s incubation period is usually six to 13 days or up to 21 days.

According to epidemiologist Dr. Russell Manzanero, although some cases may appear in Belize and the Caribbean area, people may have some immunity to it because it is not a new illness. People have received vaccination against it. “In this case, monkeypox has been around; we don’t think it would be that severe,” said Manzanero.

According to reports, there are more 200 confirmed and suspected cases of monkeypox outside of Africa. Countries in Europe like Germany have ordered up to 40,000 doses of the vaccine against this disease. The smallpox vaccine is the chosen weapon against this illness if there is an outbreak.

People who have already been vaccinated with a smallpox vaccine when they were younger should have existing immunity. In Belize, the health authorities are on high alert monitoring the situation. If anyone develops a rash or symptoms associated with the illness, they are urged to seek medical attention as soon as possible.



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