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CPS Opens Monkeypox Prevention Information Page.

PHILIPSBURG  (DCOMM):---  The Collective Prevention Service (CPS) in collaboration with the Department of Communication (DCOMM) opened a “Monkeypox Prevention Information Page,” on the Government of Sint Maarten website in order for the community to be able to find information about the disease.

The information can be found at the following link: http://www.sintmaartengov.org/government/VSA/Health-Updates/monkeypox/Pages/default.aspx

Information can also be found on the government's Facebook Page at facebook.com/SXMGOV and persons can also call 914 or 721 542-1222.

To date, there are no confirmed cases of Monkeypox reported to CPS in the country. All family physicians must report suspected cases to CPS for follow-up and registration.

CPS increased its public health surveillance for Monkeypox back in May.

Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease caused by the monkeypox virus. Symptoms include fever, intense headache, swollen lymph nodes, muscle ache, and a rash that blisters and crusts. The rash tends to be concentrated on the face, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet. The mouth, genitals, and eyes may also be affected.

The symptoms can be mild or severe and generally last for several weeks during which time a person can be infectious to others. Most people recover within three to four weeks without treatment.

Monkeypox disease is reported regularly in nine countries of Central and West Africa since it was first recognized in 1958 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, since mid-May 2022, an increasing number of monkeypox cases have been reported first in multiple countries in Europe and later in other regions, including the Americas.

As of 5 August 2022, 37,360 probable and laboratory-confirmed cases were reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) from 89 countries across all six WHO regions.

CPS is calling on the populace to reduce exposure to the virus by practicing the following prevention measures: Reduce your risk of catching monkeypox by limiting close contact with people who have suspected or confirmed monkeypox; Clean and disinfect environments that could have been contaminated with the virus from someone who is infectious regularly; Properly dispose of used materials in the garbage/waste bin; Keep yourself informed about monkeypox and have open conversations with those you come into close contact (especially sexual contact) with about any symptoms you or they may have.

Monkeypox typically presents clinically with fever, rash, swollen lymph nodes, intense headache, back pain, muscle aches, and lack of energy, and may lead to a range of medical complications.

If you experience any of the above, you should contact your medical doctor as soon as possible. You can act to protect others by isolating yourself from others until you have been evaluated and tested and received medical guidance from general practitioners (physicians).

CPS reiterates its call on all to be alert and take action to prevent contracting and spreading Monkeypox: Remember: 1) avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like Monkeypox – do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with Monkeypox; do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with Monkeypox; do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with Monkeypox. 2) Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels or clothing of a person with Monkeypox without proper personal equipment (PPE). 3) Keep two meters distance from an infected person (s); 4) Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. If you have respiratory symptoms, use a mask. If you are unsure, consult your physician.

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