GHA confirms positive case of Monkeypox in Gibraltar

Yesterday evening, the GHA confirmed that a positive case of Monkeypox has been detected at St Bernard’s Hospital in Gibraltar.
The individual is a resident of Spain who works in Gibraltar, and who presented at St Bernard’s Hospital where they were immediately isolated and assessed in line with the GHA’s established Monkeypox procedure.
Their only known close contact is also a resident of Spain who works in Gibraltar.

Gibraltar’s Monkeypox response preparations have been underway since the outbreak was announced by the World Health Organisation in early May. A group of senior members of the GHA at St Bernard’s Hospital, chaired by the Director General Professor Patrick Geoghegan, met on Thursday 26th May to rehearse the process for receiving and managing cases and a further GHA Operational Group met on Friday 27th May.
A Strategic Coordination Group, chaired by the Minister for Civil Contingencies, met yesterday, on Tuesday 31st May, at No 6 Convent Place to review Gibraltar’s preparations to date and agree next steps in escalating the response. This was arranged last week for planning purposes on advice of the Director of Public Health, prior to the individual presenting as a potential case. The meeting took place yesterday afternoon prior to the confirmation of the positive case.
The GHA is in a good place to respond to and manage Monkeypox, and procedures are in place ready to be implemented if further cases are identified.
The Director of Public Health advised that Monkeypox is a rare disease that commonly causes fever (over 37.9 degrees) and swollen glands, followed by a skin rash with blisters and scabs. The illness is usually mild and most people recover in 3-4 weeks. However for a minority of people the illness is more severe so it is important that anyone with symptoms calls 111 (or 200 72266 from a phone outside Gibraltar).
Please do not attend A&E if you suspect that you are experiencing symptoms of Monkeypox. Please call 111, where the GHA will be able to assess the symptoms and send a mobile team to your home if necessary.
People should look out for:
• Fever
• Swollen Glands
• Skin rash with blisters and scabs
The virus is transmitted from person to person by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials (bedding).
The Director of Public Health (locum), Dr Jackie Hyland, said: ‘Monkeypox is a self-limiting illness and most people recover within several weeks. Most cases, although unpleasant, can be managed at home with no need for hospitalisation. The GHA already has plans in place for mobile teams to support individuals at home if the need arises.
‘Monkeypox is also relatively difficult to transmit, and can only spread from person to person by close contact with a symptomatic individual or their clothing or bedding. At the moment, there is no requirement for the public to take extraordinary measures, except to be aware of the symptoms and to call 111 for advice if they suspect that they are experiencing these symptoms. As with many other viruses, good hygiene and regular handwashing help to prevent transmission.’