Health authorities unable to trace where current monkeypox patients were infected  

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Although contact tracing was done to figure out where the first two patients became infected with monkeypox in Guyana, Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony said Wednesday that it has not been determined.

The Health Minister during his daily health update said the patients, a 57-year-old public transportation driver and a woman in her 30s, gave a list of persons who might have been exposed to the virus through contact with them.

“We haven’t been able to get all of that information. It is very difficult to track and trace,” Dr Anthony said.

It was reported that the two monkeypox case has no recent travel history abroad.

The minister, however, assured that contact tracing was done to stem further spread of the monkeypox virus and persons found through contact tracing are all being quarantined.

“The patients or the persons who the patients has been in contact with, we have been in touch with names that the patient has given us. It is hard to find some of the contacts because he doesn’t have any particulars on those persons but the immediate family members and persons who he has been in contact with regularly, those persons are in quarantine,” Dr Anthony said.

He added that it is difficult to track every person the infected persons have been in contact with but “the immediate family is in quarantine and so far we haven’t seen any signs of anybody developing monkeypox.”

The minister said that the second patient is also being quarantined along with persons who have been in close contact with her. “We have already contacted close family members and we have already talked to them and we have those family members in quarantine as well,” Dr Anthony said.

Further, he said, “I don’t think we will have large numbers of people infected and that is why once we are able to identify persons with monkeypox we have been isolating them to avoid further contact with them and we will continue to do that.”

He urges the public to take precautions including calling the monkeypox hotline “0449” if they have any concerns or questions. The minister said that medical persons will be able to assist and give people advice.

As it relates to how long a person will need to be hospitalised after becoming infected, he said, “That depends on how the patient has been healing but generally from the time of exposure to the time a patient has clinical manifestation, let’s say from the time a clinical manifestation they will probably be about 14 days or so because the disease itself in most instances will be a self-limiting disease so generally, 14 days to 21 days, that patient should feel well and will not be infectious and can be discharged,” Dr Anthony said.

He warned that persons can develop complications, therefore, those patients will have to stay in the hospital for a longer period. Persons infected with monkeypox are being treated at the infectious disease hospital at Liliendaal.

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