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The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment said Friday that it is closely monitoring the reports of confirmed cases of monkeypox (mpox) in Trinidad and Tobago.

“As a result, the Ministry has heightened its surveillance and testing capacity across St Vincent and the Grenadines with regards to mpox,” the ministry said in a press statement.

Monkeypox is a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although it is clinically less severe.

For some persons, the first symptom of mpox is a rash or mucosal lesions which can last two to four weeks, while others may have skin rash accompanied by fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy, and swollen lymph nodes.

“The public is, therefore, advised to continue observing a healthy lifestyle which reduces exposure to viral infections, including frequent hand washing, minimising contact with person/crowds and seeking care immediately on suspicion of exposure,” the ministry said. 

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“Routine surveillance for other infectious diseases continues to be conducted and is coupled with frequent awareness sessions for healthcare staff and the public.

“The Ministry will continue to monitor the situation closely and update the public accordingly. To date, St Vincent and the Grenadines has recorded no confirmed case/s of mpox.”