Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, who made the disclosure, said that the case was confirmed “a couple hours ago”.
It is the third confirmed case of the virus in the island.
“The difference with this case is that it is a locally transmitted case. It is not an imported case as is the case with the previous two. This individual has not travelled, they have no travel history and clearly contracted the virus from someone who had the virus here,” the Health Minister noted.
He said that the individual is being quarantined at home and is being cooperative with the health authorities.
Dr. Tufton was speaking during a press briefing, which followed a tour of the Western Children and Adolescents Hospital project site in Montego Bay, St. James, on Friday (August 5).
The Health Minister said that local transmission of monkeypox was expected to occur “sooner or later”.
“What the technical team is doing is meeting [and] consulting, including with our bilateral and multilateral partners, and looking at their protocols, which we have put out already. [We are] having discussion with the medical teams in the respective parishes and reviewing how we address concerns around public information, how we address concerns around vaccines, contact tracing and quarantining, if necessary,” he said.
Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, intense headache, swelling of the lymph nodes, back pain, muscle ache or general lack of energy or a rash. The incubation period is between five to 21 days.
The monkeypox virus is normally found in animals, but the disease may be transmitted from animals to humans. The virus is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding.
Persons can access further information on the Ministry’s website at www.moh.gov.jm or other reputable sites such as the World Health Organization (WHO) or Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) or by contacting a local public health department.
The tour followed the official resumption ceremony to mark the start of phase two of the Western Children and Adolescents Hospital project.
Work on the facility is being funded by the Government of Jamaica and the Government of the People’s Republic of China.