The close contacts of Guyana’s first monkeypox patient have all been tested for the virus and the tests have all returned negative results.
However, the close contacts will remain quarantined for 21 days as patient zero makes a full recovery in hospital.
Guyana’s first monkeypox case was confirmed on Monday by the Ministry of Health after a PCR test was completed.
The man remains in isolation at the Ocean View hospital.
The Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony explained today that the close contacts of the patient will be continuously monitored for three weeks as they remain in quarantine.
He also explained that vaccines against the virus will be expected in Guyana by the end of September. However, it will not be available to everyone.
“One of the things that has started in the countries using the vaccine, is to determine the person’s risk, and you can group people by their levels of risk. And this Janus vaccine, what they have recommended is to not to give it to a pre exposure but rather a post-exposure”, Dr. Anthony said.
The Health Minister said the spread of monkeypox virus is at its highest with direct close contact.
“In this current outbreak of monkeypox, we have seen it also being spread among people who have sexual contact. So again, if a person had sex with someone who had monkeypox or has monkeypox, that person would be at high risk and therefore they would be eligible for you to give them the vaccine. The main criteria for administering the vaccine is that the person must have been exposed or at high risk for getting monkeypox”.
The Ministry of Health has indicated that Guyana is well prepared to address cases of the virus. The Health Minister believes the country could keep the infection rate very low and persons need to be mindful of their contacts with other people.