Grenada: Chief Medical Officer – Dr Shawn Charles said there are no confirmed cases of monkeypox in Grenada at present.
The CMO is seeking to clear the air on misinformation on social media following a government post-cabinet media briefing earlier today.
According to Dr Charles, out of an abundance of caution and proactiveness, the Ministry of Health, Wellness, and Religious Affairs, as per standard public health procedures and protocols, has been randomly collecting and testing samples for the last four to five weeks.
“We have been doing so of persons who presented with lesions and different kinds of rash that could appear as monkeypox, and this is no different”.
Dr Charles, an epidemiologist by training, told the Government Information Service, “It is very important to understand that there are many diseases that can cause a similar rash and appear as monkeypox, such as chickenpox and impetigo, and because we know that monkeypox is present in our region, the Ministry continues to be vigilant and test individuals who seek care, simply because we do not want to miss it, and it is because of our proactive approach, anyone presenting at our clinics with fever or a rash, we take samples and test.”
The CMO also reassured the public that, as per usual, all people suspected of monkeypox are isolated.
“As per our protocols, if an individual has the only mild disease and does not need admission, they can be isolated at home.
So a person does not necessarily have to be in state isolation, meaning in government isolation, “he explained.
He assured Grenadians that the Ministry of Health, Wellness, and Religious Affairs continues to pay very close attention to the global and regional outbreak of monkeypox.
From the time the global threat emerged, the Ministry moved swiftly into action by taking several very important steps, including public education and sensitization, information sharing with public health professionals who are responsible for public health management, health promotions, and regional collaboration with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).
The Ministry of Health, Wellness, and Religious Affairs appealed to the public to refrain from sharing inaccurate information, adding that this type of behaviour can cause unnecessary public anxiety.