Jamaica has confirmed its first case of monkeypox.
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton made the announcement at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.
The patient is a male who recently travelled from the United Kingdom. He presented to the public health system on July 5 having arrived in the island some five days earlier.
The patient has been isolated while having confirmatory tests done and his close contacts quarantined following contact tracing which will continue if necessary.
The confirmation of the case has triggered Jamaica’s emergency protocols in line with international health regulation guidelines, Tufton said.
“Among other things our emergency operation centre has been activated. A review of all isolated facility is to be done to look at the capacity to manage both monkeypox and COVID-19,” he said.
A surge in monkeypox cases has been reported since early May outside the West and Central African countries where the disease has long been endemic.
To date, more than 5,000 monkeypox cases have been reported from 53 countries worldwide that don’t normally report the disease, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Symptoms of monkeypox include skin rash, fever, headache, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion and can last up to two to four weeks.