The Ministry of Health on Wednesday July 20, 2022, reported that they are currently managing six (6) suspected cases of Monkeypox, of which four have no travel history out of Saint Lucia. The suspected cases are being managed in isolation while they await their results of the Monkeypox tests. The Epidemiology Unit within the Ministry of Health is conducting contact tracing for these suspected cases.
Monkeypox is a viral disease caused by the Monkeypox virus which is usually transmitted from animal to human in some African countries but can also be transmitted from human to human through direct contact with skin lesions or indirect contact with contaminated objects with lesion materials. The virus is also transmitted through respiratory droplets.
Human to human transmission is responsible for the majority of cases in this 2022 Monkeypox outbreak. The disease is characterized by the onset of fever, headache, back pain, muscle ache, weakness, swollen lymph nodes and a rash that progresses through several stages from being flat and red to small, raised bumps like pimples.
These then change to fluid filled vesicles that become pus filled before drying to form scabs which fall off as new skin forms at the lesion sites. A person remains infectious from the onset of symptoms until the lesions fall off with the formation of new skin.
Symptoms may last two to four weeks.