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Monday, Aug 15, 2022

Suspected monkeypox & new Covid sub-variants test negative in Grenada

Suspected monkeypox & new Covid sub-variants test negative in Grenada

Dr Shawn Charles, Acting Chief Medical Officer has confirmed that Grenada recently sent 2 samples of suspected monkeypox cases to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for testing. Both returned negative.
Dr Shawn Charles, Acting Chief Medical Officer has confirmed that Grenada recently sent 2 samples of suspected monkeypox cases to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for testing. Both returned negative.

“This was done as part of our routine surveillance. Our healthcare providers are aware of the symptoms and signs, and whenever there is any suspicious case for any of the diseases under surveillance we take measures,” he said on Wednesday.

“Thankfully the results were both negative. They were lesions identified on the skins of the individuals that are similar to that of chicken pox, so as it stands right now there is no monkeypox case or suspected cases in our system,” he said.

Monkeypox is an orthopoxvirus, while chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Both viruses, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) can spread through close contact with respiratory droplets and direct contact with skin lesions and recently contaminated objects.

The WHO will hold an emergency meeting next week to decide whether to declare monkeypox a global health emergency. It reported on Tuesday that there are now 9,200 cases of monkeypox across 63 countries.

With regards to Covid-19 subvariant BA-4 and BA-5 from the Omicron lineage, the ministry also conducted tests on random samples to confirm whether or not the variant is in circulation on the island. They also returned as negative. The tests were done at St George’s University (SGU).

Dr Charles said that Grenada continues to monitor Covid-19 transmission as part of its ongoing surveillance. As of 12 July 2022, the Ministry of Health dashboard shows that there are 181 active cases on the island. The dominant variant is Omicron.

Covid-19 vaccines continue to be available free from the Ministry of Health to help reduce the hospitalization of citizens who may become infected with the virus.
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