MOH issues Monkeypox alert for Samoa


The outbreak of Monkeypox in several countries has now become a global concern as it is increasingly associated with the resumption of international travel.

The Ministry of Health in a statement issued today, says the World Health Organization (W.H.O) has declared  Monkey boxes a global public health emergency as of 25th July 2022.

“Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that Is usually spread by very close contact with someone who has been infected and is symptomatic.

“It has been recently reported that most people who have been infected with Monkeypox fully recover without treatment but in some cases, people may become very ill. “While the risk of Monkeypox to the general public at the moment is currently low, early prevention and protection are considered a high priority.

“As Monkeypox has not yet reached Samoa. It is critical that every individual is informed of the disease especially now that travel restrictions to Samoa have been lifted.”

The MOH know about Monkeypox, which is a disease caused by the zoonotic viral disease that can spread from animals to humans It can also spread between people.

“Symptoms of Monkeypox usually begin 7-14 days after exposure to the virus/infected person.

“This can be as short as 5 days or as long as 21 days. Symptoms can range from mild to severe.

“Monkeypox begins with, fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes

Within 2-5v days (something longer) after the onset of fever, the patient develops a rash, often beginning as sores in the mouth and on the face,  then spreading to other parts of the body.

The rash associated with monkeypox is a flat red rash that later develops into pustules which crust and fall off. Lesions can be itchy and painful.”

According to the Department of Health, Monkeypox spreads from one person to another person through prolonged close contact with someone who has the symptoms including skin-to-skin contact, face-to-face contact mouth to mouth contact and touching of infected bedding, towels, clothing or objects.

“Anyone who has been in close contact with someone with monkeypox is at risk. “People could be exposed if they were in close prolonged contact with a person with the disease. “People who have recently returned from overseas and have attended large society, crowds or have been in contact with those who have shown signs and symptoms are advised to watch closely for symptoms.

“If symptoms appear please contact your closest medical doctor

It is reported that severe cases occur more commonly among children. Currently, the world health organization is still researching more information on Monkeypox, especially on the extent to which symptomatic infection occurs.”

Monkeypox is prevented by avoiding, skin to skin; face-to-face contact; mouth to mouth contact including sexual contact. “People who have monkeypox should self isolate from others until the rash is fully healed.

“Practice good hygiene by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water or with hand sanitiser after contact with people with monkeypox. Clean Objects, surfaces bedding towels and clothes regularly. Use personal protective equipment (PPE) around people infected including masks and gloves if you are the caregiver.”

There is no known treatment for the Monkeypox virus. Treatments are mainly symptomatic and supportive therapy as follows.

“Some patients may need simple pain medicines and oral fluids with a. Health care professionals monitor their health. “Severe cases may need Intensive care and some patients may need fluids and medicine to control fever or pain.

“Isolate at home if possible and protect others by avoiding close contact with them. “Seek medical attention and visit your nearest health care facility if you or a family member has suspected or show signs and symptoms of Monkeypox.

The Ministry of Health will continue to notify the general public on any new development and information regarding Monkeypox.”