The Ministry of Health is on high alert for the monkeypox disease as the results of three suspected cases returned negative.
Minister for Health, Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete says despite not recording any cases of the disease yet, it is imperative to remain alert as cases are being reported in other countries.
“You know, the suspected three cases have come back negative but we shouldn’t take much into it because the fact is there have been more than 3000 cases worldwide in over 50 countries, so we must be prepared just as we were with COVID.”
Dr Waqainabete says medical interventions adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic will be effective against monkeypox.
The World Health Organisation’s Technical Lead for monkeypox, Doctor Rosamand Lewis, confirms that even a single monkeypox case in the country will be considered an outbreak given the rarity of the disease.
“What’s different now is that we’re seeing cases in other countries that normally don’t have monkeypox and this is very unusual. We’ve had the occasional outbreak or single case detected in a traveller from West Africa but in fact, we’ve never seen an outbreak like this before.”
The Health Ministry is ramping up public advisories so that people are aware of how to protect themselves from the disease.
Early diagnosis, treatment, and contact tracing have been initiated to keep tabs on travellers from selected countries.