Given the continued spread of Monkeypox internationally, the World Health Organisation declared the outbreak a Public Health Event of International Concern (PHEIC) on July 21st. According to PAHO, as of July 28th, 21,064 confirmed cases of Monkeypox were recorded internationally, with 6785 registered in the Americas and the most significant portion identified in the United States. Amongst the islands, cases have been detected in Puerto Rico (13), Dominican Republic (3), Jamaica (2), Bahamas (1), Bermuda (1), Barbados (1), Martinique (1), and Saint Martin (French side) (1).
The Public Health Department continues to closely liaise with the RIVM, Saba Cares, and Saba Wellness pharmacy in remaining vigilant for Monkeypox on Saba.
Monkeypox is a zoonotic viral disease traditionally transferred from rodents and monkeys to humans. Human to Human transmission occurs through close contact with skin lesions of an infected person, through respiratory droplets in prolonged face-to-face contact, and, less frequently, through materials such as clothing, bedding, or objects like eating utensils contaminated with the virus.
Monkeypox does not spread easily between people. The first symptoms of monkeypox are often, but not always:
• skin rash developing into blisters
• muscle ache
• swollen lymph nodes
However, it is essential to note that anyone can be infected with monkeypox, and all persons should be aware of the signs and symptoms. Currently, we do not have vaccinations available on the island. Still, the Public Health Department is in discussion with the RIVM regarding the availability of vaccination which can be offered to persons at high risk of contracting monkeypox or persons who have had close contact with a confirmed monkeypox case.
If you develop symptoms similar to monkeypox, please call Saba Cares on +599 416 3288 for further guidance. The Public Health Department will continue to monitor the situation and update accordingly.
As further information becomes available to us, we will communicate accordingly.
Public Health Department