Dominican Republic confirms its monkeypox case

Dominican Republic confirms its first case of monkeypox

Monkeypox has infected more than 6,000 people in 58 countries, most of them European, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday.

The director general of the organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said at a press conference that the WHO expert group will meet on July 18 “or earlier, if necessary” to determine if the level of “moderate” risk that was assigned on June 27 to this outbreak is maintained or should be declared an international health emergency, like covid-19.

The Dominican Republic confirmed on Wednesday the first case of monkeypox in the country, a 25-year-old person who was infected in the United States and who is evolving in a “satisfactory” way in a military hospital.

Dominican Public Health Minister Daniel Rivera said at a news conference that the patient is Dominican and that he was informed of his condition in the United States and that as soon as he arrived in the country he contacted health authorities.

“The patient is giving a good response to the treatment and is isolated in the Ramón de Lara hospital (…) that person had contact with four others, but they were just simple greetings,” said the official, who assured the population that the disease is not circulating in the country.

He said the patient was admitted at the end of last week and is being treated with antibiotics and antivirals.

Rivera, who spoke accompanied by other doctors, insisted that there is no cause for concern for the public and that the four people who had “mild” contact with the patient are under supervision.

“This disease does not go through the air or anything like that, there has to be close contact with a sick person for it to be infected,” the minister said.

The symptoms of monkeypox are similar to that of the eradicated smallpox, but somewhat milder, such as fever, headache, tiredness, and chills.

Those who suffer from the disease are affected by blisters in various parts of the body, said infectologist Joel Ureña, who treats the patient.

“We received the patient last Wednesday and by Friday he began to present the versicles (lesions filled with clear fluid) in the arms, penis, trunk and back and to this day he has given a satisfactory response to the established treatment,” Ureña added.