With the rise in monkeypox cases worldwide, people are becoming more concerned about the virus. Puerto Rico is one such example as cases on the islands have been reported to be surging recently. According to the CDC, the number of Monkeypox cases has gone up to 54 since August 5. The uptick in cases has been an unsettling thought for Puerto Ricans on the islands as the COVID-19 pandemic has hit them hard in recent years. The population that seems to be most affected by Monkeypox is the LGBTQ community according to CNBC, which stated that “About 99% of cases are among men, and at least 95% of those patients are men who have sex with other men, according to WHO official Rosamund Lewis.” The Puerto Rican Department of Health has announced that “There is no specific treatment for monkeypox virus infection, although antivirals developed for use in smallpox patients may be of benefit.”
This is very unfortunate as besides preventing people from getting cases of monkeypox there needs to be a way for infected people to receive help. The department has published the symptoms to watch out for, which include “fever, severe headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy, swollen lymph nodes, and skin rashes or lesions.” A key in preventing monkeypox or any disease from spreading is making the public aware of identifying people who may have contracted the virus to allow isolation to occur.
This is something that Puerto Rico Secretary of Health Carlos Mellado López is confident in as he stated that “Fortunately, we have a robust surveillance system prepared to deal with this situation.” This can relieve Puerto Ricans of how the government is proceeding with these monkeypox cases. Further confidence in the government’s response comes from Health Deputy Secretary Iris Cardona who provided information on their treatment process. “There is no specific treatment for this virus, but there are certain antiviral treatments and vaccines developed to protect us against a severe disease that we can use to treat or prevent this disease. Now we are in coordination with the CDC to evaluate the cases and contacts that require some type of treatment.”
The health department in Puerto Rico is trying to take this new pandemic head first even though there are still many unknowns as to what the future of monkeypox will be. Puerto Rican officials are taking solid measures in ensuring the safety of its citizens.