3 people under investigation for monkeypox test negative and released from isolation

3 people under investigation for monkeypox test negative and released from isolation

By Rashika Kumar
Tuesday 28/06/2022
Permanent Secretary for Health Dr James Fong

Three people who were under investigation for monkeypox have tested negative and are no longer in isolation.

Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr James Fong says of these three individuals, one is a local citizen while 2 are foreign persons and all had travel related exposure risk.

Dr. Fong says we are in the middle of the chickenpox season, which can be mistaken for what many have read about monkeypox.

He says the ministry has released a number of advisories for the public and guidelines have also been releases to all clinicians in public and private sectors in order to facilitate early case identification and reporting.

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.

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.

Dr. Fong says it is also amenable to localised public health measures with minimal to low social and economic impact.

He 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.

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