Barbados Saturday confirmed its first case of the monkeypox virus with officials indicating that the island is fully prepared to handle the situation.
Health and Wellness Minister, Ian Goodign Edghill, in a statement, said that the case is a Barbadian in his 30s who visited the Winston Scott Polyclinic with symptoms of a progressive rash, body pains and fever.
“He sought medical attention at the polyclinic within hours of his arrival in Barbados. The patient was seen and assessed based on a history of recent travel and clinical manifestations. The patient was swabbed and the samples were sent to the Best-dos Santos Public Health Laboratory for testing where results revealed a positive case of monkeypox.”
Edghill said that the results of the locally done test were obtained within 24 hours as against the days awaiting results when the tests were done by the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).
“The patient remains in isolation and is under the direct care and medical supervision of our medical officer of health. In the interest of patient confidentiality, no personal details will be disclosed.”
The health and wellness minister said he remains confident that the speedy announcement of this case will, as has occurred with the island’s response to the coronavirus COVID-19) pandemic, “get from the Barbadian public the same level of cooperation in our ongoing management of the monkeypox health issue.
“The Ministry of Health and Wellness has commenced contact tracing as a responsible public health measure. Let me assure the public that the Ministry is fully prepared to handle any cases of Monkeypox in our nation,” said Edghill, who did not disclose when the national returned to the island and where he had travelled to.
The signs and symptoms of monkeypox include rash, fever, enlarged lymph nodes, back pain and muscle pain and the World Health Organization (WHO) has prescribed that if anyone is exposed to the virus he or she should be quarantined for to 21 days.