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  • The San Juan Daily Star

Health Dept. monitoring 4 suspected monkeypox cases

Health Secretary Carlos Mellado López

By The Star Staff

The Department of Health (DH) is monitoring four suspected new cases of monkeypox in Puerto Rico.

As of press time on Sunday, seven alerts of possible monkeypox cases had been registered on the island. There is one confirmed case, four cases under investigation, one which was discarded, and one under monitoring because of a travel contact.

To keep the public informed about the progress of the disease, the DH will publish weekly on its website a special bulletin on monkeypox in Puerto Rico. The bulletin contains the alerts reported to the department.

The first report details that between the period from June 6 to July 1, 2022, seven monkeypox alerts had been received. Among those, there is the confirmed case for the orthopox virus (a genus that groups monkeypox) and four under investigation that are in isolation. Additionally, there are two alerts per travel contact, one with investigation completed and one under monitoring. The last alert evaluated did not meet the criteria for the disease. The cases are not linked to each other and the subjects’ ages fluctuate between 20 and 50 years.

“At this time, the alerts continue to be studied and monitored,” island Health Secretary Carlos Mellado López said in a statement. “We have established surveillance systems that are essential to avoid a chain of infections. We must be attentive to any symptoms that may occur, such as a rash with blisters on the face, hands, feet, eyes, mouth and/or genitals, fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, muscle aches and low energy, especially if you have had contact with a person with suspected or confirmed monkeypox or if you have traveled to a country with cases of monkeypox. If you have any symptoms, isolate yourself at home and speak immediately with a health professional.”

Outbreaks of monkeypox have recently been reported in several countries around the world where this disease has not usually occurred. As published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of July 1, 2022, there were 5,783 cases of monkeypox in 52 countries. Of those, 460 cases were in the United States.

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