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1st June 2022, 15:11

First case of Monkeypox in Gibraltar confirmed by GHA

The Health Authority has confirmed the first positive case of Monkeypox in Gibraltar.

The Government says the individual is a Spanish resident who works in Gibraltar, and who presented at St Bernard's Hospital - where, it says, they were immediately isolated and assessed in line with the established Monkeypox procedure. Their only known close contact is also a resident of Spain who works in Gibraltar.

The Government says Gibraltar's Monkeypox response preparations have been underway since the outbreak was announced by the World Health Organisation early last month. A number of meetings have been held in recent days, including a Strategic Coordination Group meeting yesterday, which took place prior to the confirmation of the positive case.

According to the Director of Public Health, Monkeypox is a rare disease that commonly causes fever and swollen glands, followed by a skin rash with blisters and scabs. It's usually mild, but a minority of people may experience more severe illness, so anyone with symptoms is asked to call 111 (or 20072266 from a phone outside Gibraltar). You are asked not to attend A&E with Monkeypox symptoms.

The disease is transmitted by close contact with lesions, bodily fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as clothing or bedding. The Director of Public Health (locum), Dr Jackie Hyland, said there is no requirement for the public to take extraordinary measures, except to be aware of the symptoms and call 111 if needed - adding, however, that as with many other viruses, good hygiene and regular handwashing help to prevent transmission.