BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Barbados health authorities are investigating a possible case of the monkeypox virus with the Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George confirming that he is aware of the suspected case.
“I am aware of the case and we are doing all the testing that is necessary. Appropriate samples have been taken. There is no travel history and the patient has been placed in isolation out of an abundance of caution,” he said, adding that the Barbadian male presented with signs of lesions on his body.
The online Barbados Today Wednesday reported that the individual had been tested on Tuesday and the sample was sent to the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for confirmation.
The publication quoted Dr George as saying that the authorities are undertaking a “full” review of the public health procedures as they express concern over the spread of monkeypox in the country’s tourism source markets.
“We are actually having a full review with all persons working across the public sector on awareness and sensitisation, the symptoms, the signs, the clinical presentation, surveillance and epidemiology, ” he told Barbados Today.
The CMO said that Barbados had sent a “couple” samples to CARPHA for testing and they came back negative.
“Two or three cases were presented with a rash, but all those samples came back negative. We continue to monitor the situation,” he said.
“My advice to the population is to be very observant. Be careful about the persons you mix with. If the person has a rash, you should try to stay away from that individual because if you are exposed you would be required to be quarantined and quarantine is up to 21 days as prescribed by the World Health Organization (WHO).
“COVID has told us that you cannot prevent a viral illness from coming through your ports of entry. Nonetheless, we think it is absolutely critical to apprise the port health workers to make sure that if a case comes across, they can identify it early, visually, and respond and put them in the appropriate care,” Dr George added.
Jamaica and The Bahamas are the only two Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries that have confirmed cases of moneypox, with the signs and symptoms include rash, fever, enlarged lymph nodes, back pain and muscle pain.