The Department of Public Health has stated that it is looking into a possible monkeypox case in a young patient who had fever and rash, which were previously diagnosed as chickenpox. To avoid a possible outbreak, the patient’s sample has been sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) “out of an abundance of caution,” to look for the monkeypox virus, which had just been confirmed as circulating in non-endemic countries and produced chickenpox-like symptoms. 

The PCR is expected to complete the test in one to two weeks. Interim Chief Medical Officer Dr Autilia Newton indicated that since chickenpox is an infectious illness, the patient has already been quarantined and contact tracing has been completed. 

“Other cases of chickenpox were discovered among the close relatives of this case, and precautions were taken to prevent transmission,” Dr. Newton added. “We want to reiterate that the chickenpox and monkeypox virus can be prevented by following health and hygiene guidelines, including using masks and avoiding direct contact with any person who has a new rash and elevated temperature.”

If you have any of the symptoms listed above, see your doctor immediately. The Health Minister, Sabrina Turner, said that her department will communicate the findings of the testing with the public and that health updates may be found on local media outlets and on the government website.

“The Department of Public Health has skilled and experienced surveillance experts who are known for their success,” added Turner. “This case is a shining example of the system in action. We were able to swiftly identify a possible situation, assess and handle it locally, but also to send a sample to CARPHA for convenience, given the current spread of monkeypox. I am certain we will be able to respond to any scenario that comes our way.”

Monkeypox is a viral disease caused by a monkeypox virus that is related to smallpox and cowpox viruses. While chickenpox symptoms are similar, the fluid-filled bumps are larger and high fever and swollen glands complete the list of common symptoms.

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