In the face of heightened concern about the current outbreak of monkeypox elsewhere, a prominent local medical doctor is urging the Jamaican Government to be proactive and implement a comprehensive plan of action in the event the virus is detected here.
Monkeypox has been detected in 15 nations outside of Africa and is a zoonotic virus, which means it is spread between animals and people.
Dr Winston Dawes, speaking Sunday on Radio Jamaica's weekly news review show, That's a Rap, asserted that any plan developed by the government in response to the virus should include all stakeholders.
He said public education will be important and should specifically target workers in the tourism sector, because, according to him, that might be the first point of local contact for a visitor arriving with the disease.
Noting that "there's a physical side" to the disease, "in terms of the rash," he said hotel workers "ought to be informed about what to look out for because it's going to be imported and the hotels may be the first source (in Jamaica)".
If that happens, he said, "it would be very important that the authorities are imformed quickly, rather than waiting for the usual confirmation; we don't have that luxury."