“We need to guard against having emerging communicable diseases, like monkeypox established in the Caribbean. Monkeypox is not a disease like COVID-19. It is not airborne and demands close prolonged contact with an infected person. The way this particular monkeypox outbreak presents is different from what was reported in endemic countries. Caribbean people need to be vigilant and pay attention,” stated Dr. Joy St. John, Executive Director at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), following the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration on 23 July, 2022, that the global spread of the monkeypox virus, constituted a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
This declaration is WHO’s highest level of alert and comes at a time when more than 16,000 cases from 75 countries and territories, and five deaths have been reported.
Today, Dr. Joy St. John, spoke with Ms. Carlon Kirton, Communications Manager about this latest public health emergency, CARPHA’s support to Member States, testing for monkeypox and COVID-19, and vaccinations.