Pacific braces for monkeypox outbreak

AS THE world grapples with the new outbreak of monkeypox, Fiji's Ministry of Health is putting in place strategies to protect the country from the disease.
Pacific braces for monkeypox outbreak Pacific braces for monkeypox outbreak Pacific braces for monkeypox outbreak Pacific braces for monkeypox outbreak Pacific braces for monkeypox outbreak

Dr James Fong

Staff Reporter

The Ministry of Health said measures used to curb Covid-19 will be considered to help Fiji deal with any possible cases.
Health Secretary Dr James Fong, said monkeypox shared many similarities in symptoms exhibited by Covid-19, Radio New Zealand Pacific reported.
Dr Fong said basic etiquettes such as surface sanitisation, masking and hand sanitisation were critical to preventing the spread of the disease.
"We need to understand what this disease is so that we are better prepared to respond if we were to get a case in Fiji," he said.
He said health experts were monitoring global reports of monkeypox and developing strategies to deal with the disease.
"They are maintaining oversight over all the other reported outbreaks that are happening around the world. We have got definite protocols around how to monitor those outbreaks and how to ensure that if they arrive in Fiji, we have the ability to contain them."
Dr Fong said they will ensure there is little to no disruption to Fiji's social and economic development following the ramifications impounded upon by Covid-19
He said early detection was critical, so anyone who developed symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, and exhaustion should visit their nearest health centre immediately.
Monkeypox is spread from animals to humans via contact with clothing or linen used by an infected person, direct contact with monkeypox skin lesions, and exposure to respiratory droplets like coughs.
It can be fatal to children and people whose immune systems are weak.
The World Health Organisation said reported cases of fatality are between 3% to 6% of infections.
Monkeypox until recently was only found in western and central Africa
Head of Health Protection Dr Aalisha Sahukhan said the disease was a self-limiting illness with an incubation period ranging from five to 21 days.
"When we say self-limited disease, it essentially means that most cases recover without any need for medical intervention. Treatment may be supportive. People are having pains, headaches, and backache but in two to four weeks' time, they will recover fully. We know that severe disease can happen though it is not common and severe disease is more likely to affect people who are immune suppressed and in small children."



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