State hospitals are fully prepared to deal with possible monkeypox cases in Cyprus, although none have yet surfaced, assured Health Minister of Health Michalis Hadjipantela.
Nicosia General Hospital was designated as the reference hospital for the disease, with 10 beds available and a capacity to accommodate more cases.
After Monday’s extraordinary meeting, following the World Health Organisation’s decision to declare monkeypox a global health emergency, Hadjipantela said he had the opportunity to review hospital readiness for an outbreak of the virus.
The State Health Services Organisation (SHSO), in charge of managing possible monkeypox cases, presented an action plan to the minister based on screening, isolation and clinical assessment.
Hadjipantela said information received from WHO alarmed the Ministry of Health.
He explained that all procedures were evaluated, the steps taken after a possible case is detected, and where the laboratory tests and hospitalisation will occur.
The minister was satisfied with the plan, which will continue to be reviewed.
“If we have to improve it, we will see how to go about it at a later stage.”
Later, he expects to know when the 1,400 vaccines to fight monkeypox will arrive.
Ten possible cases were located but turned out to be negative.
Dr Linos Hadjihannas, an infectious disease specialist, said that all procedures were followed since May and after the 10 suspected cases.
“We have been ready since May to handle any suspect or confirmed case.”
The WHO has declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, but it’s not a disease that the general public has been familiar with.
For over a decade, members of the scientific community have been concerned about the potential of a monkeypox epidemic.
The current outbreak is spreading from human-to-human contact.
The WHO warns you could develop an infection from respiratory droplet particles by spending too much time face-to-face with a monkeypox carrier.
The monkeypox outbreak was avoidable, and warning signs were ignored, expert says
The virus also spreads through physical contact, including touching a lesion, as well as the exchange of some bodily fluids like saliva.
An individual could become infected by touching items and surfaces shared with someone exhibiting symptoms.