Security in schools was beefed up this week after Jamaica recorded its first suspected case of Monkey Pox-related death.
The Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA) Regional Technical Director Michael Bent has warned school administrators to ramp up infection-control measures to mitigate the risk of the virus spreading.
Bent told school leaders that they must enforce the infection-control methods that they had implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19. Those options include handwashing and sanitization and the wearing of masks.
“Now that the schools have been reopened, where children have been interacting with each other and traveling on public transportation and so on, we want to ensure that they know what are the measures to take and enforce the infection-control measures so that we can minimize any risk of persons contracting it and spreading it,” he said.
The Ministry of Education mandated the wearing of masks in schools in May, to limit the spread of COVID-19 until further notice. It also encouraged regular washing of hands and temperature checks.
“We have to ensure that we don’t take anything for granted. Everyone can contract monkeypox if we don’t take precautionary measures,” Bent said.
Jamaica recorded its first monkeypox case in July. Since then, the numbers have increased to 12, with five cases being reported between September 7 and 12.
Ten of the total cases were transmitted locally. Eight cases are active.
Monkeypox is transmitted through direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with the virus. The risk of contraction is increased with the touching of objects, fabrics, and surfaces that have been used by someone with a monkeypox. Infections may develop after contact with the respiratory secretions of someone with the virus.
The virus can also be transmitted through intimate contact. These include oral, anal, and vaginal sex or touching the genitals or anus of a person with a monkeypox. It can also be transmitted through hugging, massages, kissing, and prolonged face-to-face contact.