Monkeypox has been added to the list of dangerous infectious diseases in accordance with Section 103 of the Public Health Ordinance. The Cabinet has also approved the making of an Order by the Quarantine Authority to allow special measures to be taken in light of the emergency of the spread of the Monkeypox Virus.
The following is a press release from the Ministry of Health:
The Cabinet of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago has approved with immediate effect the recommendation of the Honourable Terrence Deyalsingh, Minister of Health, to proclaim the Monkeypox Virus a dangerous infectious disease, in accordance with Section 103 of the Public Health Ordinance, Chap. 12 No. 4.
The Cabinet has further approved the making of an Order by the Quarantine Authority to allow special measures to be taken in light of the emergency of the spread of the Monkeypox Virus and in particular, to allow for surveillance of the crew and passengers on board a ship of aircraft, for twenty-one (21) days from the last date of possible exposure to infection, in accordance with Section 6 (1) of the Quarantine Act, Chapter 28:05.
The Attorney General is to prepare the necessary Orders to give effect to the above.
Monkeypox is a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals or human to human) with symptoms very similar but usually clinically less severe than those seen in smallpox patients.
The public is further advised that the main symptoms of Monkeypox are fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes. The virus is transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal or contaminated material such as bedding. The virus may also be transferred from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids and respiratory droplets.
Additionally, if you or anyone close to you have had a recent travel history from any country where cases have been detected and are symptomatic, as described above, please visit your nearest health care provider. For a full list of these countries, please visit the WHO website at www.who.int/emergencies/emergency-events/item/monkeypox.
The public should note that no case(s) of the Monkeypox Virus have been confirmed in Trinidad and Tobago at this time.
As more information becomes available, the Ministry of Health will keep the public abreast of any new developments regarding this emerging public health threat via the MoH website at www.health.gov.tt and social media channels.