Health Ministry officials on Tuesday held a meeting on how to handle a possible monkey pox outbreak and Drafting a plan to counter measure for Possible outbreaks of Monkey pox cases here as they stressed that Cyprus is preparing in line with European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) guidelines.
At the same time, the Health Ministry will be sending out instructions to doctors and hospitals to deal with possible Monkeypox cases by end of day on Tuesday.
The ECDC’s advise quick identification (such as tests), management, contact tracing, and reporting of monkeypox (MPX) positives.
“Countries should update their contact tracing mechanisms, their diagnostic capacity… and review the availability of smallpox vaccines, antivirals and personal protective equipment (PPE) for health professionals,” the ECDC said in its latest MPX risk assessment, issued on Monday.
Press officer for the health ministry Konstantinos Athanasiou said that while Cyprus does not currently have smallpox vaccines, nations such as Denmark and the Netherlands have said that they can meet the demand among EU countriesMi if the need arises. The island does, however, have two antiviral treatments for very serious cases.
The health officials also discussed Cyprus’ capacity to test for MPX or whether samples will have to be sent abroad.
Insiders said Cyprus is equipped with antiviral medicine capable of treating the illness caused by Monkey pox. And that this is a mild disease that can be treated.
Health experts, however, seem to be still puzzled over how it spread to countries where it was not endemic.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has already informed that Monkeypox does not spread easily between people.
Human-to-human transmission occurs through close contact with infectious material from skin lesions of an infected person, through respiratory droplets in prolonged face-to-face contact, and through fomites.