Fiji monitoring outbreaks of concern including monkeypox

May 24, 2022 6:20 am

Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Doctor James Fong. [File Photo]

Fiji’s Centre for Disease Control and the Border Health Protection Unit are closely monitoring international outbreaks of concern.

Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Doctor James Fong says this includes Ebola Virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Japanese Encephalitis in Australia, acute hepatitis of unknown origin in multiple countries, and monkeypox in the United Kingdom and other countries.

Dr Fong says specific interventions have been put in place as they continue to monitor and assess the situation in order to better respond to it based on the available scientific evidence, best practice, and advice from expert authorities.

Article continues after advertisement

The Permanent Secretary for Health says monkeypox have been reported in a growing number of countries including Australia, the disease is a self-limiting illness.

Dr Fong says most who contract monkeypox recover with supportive treatment within several weeks, however, severe illness can occur in some individuals.

The Ministry says infection prevention protocols are currently being put together at the border and in community facilities.

One of the key focus will be to ensure Fiji has the ability to maintain oversight over travellers from selected countries to ensure early diagnosis, treatment, and contact tracing.

Overall symptoms of the virus can include fever, chills, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, and exhaustion.

Other symptoms include unusual rash, which typically starts on the face, and then may spread elsewhere on the body.

Dr Fong reiterated the need for all doctors and nurses in the community to ensure they are well informed of how cases present and be vigilant in helping to ensure cases are diagnosed early.

The Ministry of Health highlighted Fiji’s strategy for resilience requires urgent and early preparedness and response to any potential threat.