Saipan hospital preparing for monkeypox
While no monkeypox cases have been identified in the Marianas yet, the Commonwealth Health care Corporation on Saipan is preparing for its possible emergence.
Jennifer Dudek, Territorial State Epidemiologist, said, "While there are currently no cases of monkeypox that have been reported in the CNMI CHCC is actively monitoring the situation." As of August 1st, there are over 5,800 confirmed cases in the United States. According to the CDC 48 states now have confirmed cases.
CHCC Dr. Lily Muldoon, Medical Director of Public Health, said, "The symptoms of monkeypox include fevers, chills, headache. body ache, swollen lymph nodes, but the most identifiable component of monkeypox is a rash."
The CDC says you can catch monkeypox through close contact with a symptomatic person through skin to skin contact, face to face contact, mouth to skin contact, and touching infected objects.
Muldoon added, "We currently do not have any treatment for monkeypox. We do have the opportunity that is forthcoming for vaccines. Currently the CNMI does not have any vaccines available on island but the CDC is giving out the vaccines based on the need of the jurisdiction and because the CNMI does not have any current or suspected cases we do not have any of the vaccine allocated to us at this time."
She says CHCC is able to send swabs to Hawaii for testing and get results by 10 days for any suspected cases.