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VIDOH Issues A Public Health Warning About the Monkeypox Virus

US Virgin Islands — The VI Department of Health is warning the public that as of 25 May, there have been 241 confirmed and 6 suspected cases of monkeypox reported in several countries that don’t normally experience cases or are not endemic for the monkeypox virus, including the United States. No deaths have been reported worldwide. There have been no cases detected in the United States Virgin Islands.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as of today, May 26, 2022, there have been nine (9) confirmed Monkeypox cases in seven (7) U.S. states. Monkeypox does not occur naturally in the United States, but cases have happened in the past that were associated with international travel or importing animals from areas where the disease is more common. In response to the worldwide outbreak in Monkeypox cases CDC has issued a Health Alert Network (HAN).

Once infection occurs, there is an incubation period which lasts on average 7-14 days, but can range from 5-21 days. Currently, there is no proven, safe treatment for monkeypox virus infection. Lesions may occur over the body or be located only on the genital or perianal area. Some patients may present with proctitis, and their illness could be clinically confused with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) like syphilis or herpes, or with varicella zoster virus infection. In the U.S. smallpox vaccine, antivirals, and vaccinia immune globulin (VIG) can be used to control monkeypox outbreaks.

The Department has already engaged with federal partners, particularly the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), for planning for medical treatment and prevention. The Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) is responding to the monkeypox outbreak. ASPR’s SNS has several medical countermeasures (MCMs) available that could be used in the current monkeypox outbreak: Jynneos vaccine, ACAM2000 vaccine, and TPOXX (tecovirimat capsules or injection).

The Department will request these MCMs in the event pre- or post-exposure prophylaxis or treatment for monkeypox is necessary through consultation with the CDC Emergency Operations Center. The CDC subject matter experts will facilitate the transfer of MCMs to the territory in the appropriate quantities needed for treatment and prevention.

For additional information on monkeypox in the United States visit the CDC website at Monkeypox in the United States | Monkeypox | Poxvirus | CDC.