SAIPAN (MARIANAS VARIETY) —The Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHC) on Friday said that although no monkeypox case had been reported in the CNMI, Guam had one suspected case.

The World Health Organisation has declared monkeypox as an outbreak of a public health emergency of international concern.

Territorial state epidemiologist Jennifer Dudek, and public health medical director and emergency medicine physician Dr. Lily Muldoon reported that Guam has sent a specimen to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be tested.

Results are received within 7 to 10 days.

Dudek and Muldoon said CHCC has been actively monitoring cases.

Muldoon said monkeypox is like smallpox but is not related to chickenpox.

Monkeypox can be spread through very close contact with someone who has it.

Unlike Covid-19 though, monkeypox cannot be spread through asymptomatic individuals who have monkeypox.

Symptoms of monkey pox include fever, chills, headache, body aches, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash.

The most common symptom is a rash that looks like pimples and can appear on the face, genitals, and body.

The rash can last two to four weeks, can be severely painful, and can cause scarring.

Muldoon noted that there have been several chickenpox cases within the past month.

Anyone who believes they have monkeypox is encouraged to isolate at home to contain the spread, and to contact CHCC in advance before being triaged in order to protect individuals at the hospital.

There is no current treatment for monkeypox available on island, but CDC sends vaccines to jurisdictions as needed.

Because the CNMI does not have any current or suspected cases, it does not have any vaccine allocated to it at this time.

However, CHCC is increasing its surveillance, preparing for future testing and increasing its vaccine stock if monkeypox reaches the CNMI.

Death from monkeypox is unlikely, with a case fatality rate of about three percent.

The case fatality rate is primarily concerning for people who are immunocompromised, young children, and the elderly.

As of Friday, July 29, the CDC reported over almost 4,000 monkeypox cases in the U.S….PACNEWS

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