Monkeypox patient flees May Pen Hospital after jumping through window
The man who has been confirmed with the contagious monkeypox virus has fled the May Pen Hospital in Clarendon.
Police and health authorities do not know his whereabouts.
The man was under isolation.
Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton says the man jumped through a bathroom window on Saturday and left in a car that was waiting for him.
The police visited his home but he was not found.
The car is being tracked.
Tufton says the action was "premeditated and planned".
A subsequent statement from the Ministry of Health and Wellness said the man escaped some time after noon.
"Monkeypox is a viral disease that can be transmitted from person to person. It is therefore important that anyone with knowledge of the patient's whereabouts contact the police so that he can be returned to isolation, pending the resolution of his illness,” said the statement, quoting Tufton.
In a Gleaner interview, he urged persons not to harm the man.
"The solution is not to try to apprehend or engage in any confrontation with any individual having these symptoms. The best thing is to call the police or the parish health authority," he told The Gleaner.
Meanwhile, test results from a suspected case in St James have come back negative.
Tufton advised the country on July 6 that the virus was detected in Jamaica.
He said the man went to the public health system on July 5, having arrived on the island five days earlier from the United Kingdom.
Five facts about Monkeypox
* Monkeypox is caused by the monkeypox virus, a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae.
* Monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease with symptoms lasting from 2 to 4 weeks.
* Monkeypox is transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, or with material contaminated with the virus.
* Monkeypox virus is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding.
* Monkeypox typically presents clinically with fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes and may lead to a range of medical complications.
Source: World Health Organization
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