Of the three likely cases of monkeypox currently being investigated by the Ministry of Health, two have returned a negative test result while they await the result of the third sample.
This has been confirmed by the Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr James Fong who says of these three individuals, one is a local citizen while 2 are foreign persons and all have travel related exposure risk.
He says all individuals were isolated and tests are being done at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne, Australia.
Dr Fong stresses their current position is that while monkeypox spreads worldwide, the evidence remains that monkeypox does not spread easily between people unless there is close contact.
He says it is also amenable to localised public health measures with minimal to low social and economic impact.
Dr Fong reiterates that at present the World Health Organization does not recommend that the Member States adopt any measures that interfere with international traffic for either incoming or outgoing travellers.
Monkeypox is usually a self-limiting illness, which means that most people recover with just supportive (symptom relief) treatment within several weeks, however, severe illness can occur in some individuals.
Dr. Fong further says infection prevention protocols have been put together at the border and in community facilities and protocols have been initiated to maintain oversight over travellers from selected countries to ensure early diagnosis, treatment, and contact tracing.
He adds discussions with the reference laboratory in Melbourne are on going to ensure access to definitive tests and ongoing efforts to have genomic sequencing capability in the Fiji CDC will provide greater capacity to deal with infection threats now and in the future.
Please note person-to-person transmission may occur through contact with clothing or linens (such as bedding or towels) used by an infected person, direct contact with monkeypox skin lesions or scabs and exposure to respiratory droplets like coughing or sneezing.
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