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Monkeypox spreading too fast says WHO; physical distancing recommended



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


July 15, 2022 – Monkeypox cases have increased high double percentage points over the past ten days with 2614 new cases and 2 new deaths recorded.

Nine new countries have reported cases including four Caribbean countries namely St Lucia, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, The Bahamas and now Turks and Caicos Islands have logged suspected and confirmed cases and the  World Health Organization says for the first time local transmission of Monkeypox has been reported in newly-affected countries without epidemiological links to countries that have previously reported Monkeypox in West or Central Africa.

This is concerning news as it means tracing the outbreak becomes more difficult.

The massive spike has forced the WHO to start biweekly reports to keep the world up to date.  The majority of the 6,027 recorded cases so far remain in Europe with 4,920 but the amount of cases in the Americas is rising with 902 cases so far.  The African region has the third least amount of cases with 173 but the three recorded deaths so far have happened in that region.

Closer to home The Bahamas confirmed their single case on June 24th and Jamaica confirmed their single case on July 6th, both positives were recorded from men who had recently been in London.  Both countries say they are establishing contact tracing and quarantine protocols.

Most of the infected parties so far are male but the disease can infect anyone who has close contact with a symptomatic person or the fluid from their rashes.  Additionally citizens and doctors are now being warned to be aware that Monkeypox may not appear as it once did.

Describing the symptoms in this outbreak as ‘atypical’ the WHO said,

“Many cases in newly-affected areas are not presenting with the classically described clinical picture for Monkeypox (fever, swollen lymph nodes, followed by centrifugal rash).  Among the cases who reported at least one symptom, 81% presented with systemic rash (widespread rash on the body), 50% presented with fever and 41% presented with genital rash.”

Less symptoms and a less obvious rash are becoming more common in many cases and people are advised to be on the alert for this.

Advice from the WHO is to keep infected persons isolated, be on the lookout for any rashes and get tested immediately if you spot one in any area of your body.  Refrain from sustained contact with people with symptoms of Monkeypox as that is how the disease spreads.

Wear personal protective equipment like gloves when handling, sheets, clothing etc. that have been exposed to open sores from positive Monkeypox cases and continue to observe social distancing protocols. .

Bahamas News

Caribbean Rising: Regional Heads of Government Meet in The Bahamas Aug 16-17 to discuss Caribbean position on Climate Change Mitigation



#TheBahamas, August 5, 2022 – The Bahamas will host the first Regional Meeting of the Heads of Government of the Caribbean in preparation for COP27 in Nassau, The Bahamas on August 16-17, 2022.

The inaugural event is being introduced by the Government of The Bahamas with the aim of devising a regional position on climate change mitigation ahead of COP 27 which will take place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt November 6-20, 2022.

Invited participants include the Head of State from the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla,

Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago and Turks and Caicos.

The Government of The Bahamas intends to establish the meeting as an annual event and will seek to have it instituted as a regular meeting on calendar of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC).

“The Bahamas is introducing this conference as we seek to get results in the climate change fight,” Prime Minister Hon. Philip Davis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas said ahead of the talks.

“The Bahamas, along with the region, has lobbied year after year, meeting after meeting, as we sought for the world to acknowledge our vulnerable position.”

“This meeting will position the Caribbean region to take control of our fate and present a unified position to the world at COP27,” Prime Minister Davis added.

The meeting is also intended to establish a Caribbean response exclusive of the conventional Latin

America-Caribbean pairing in order to better reflect common geographical and geo-political issues of Caribbean states.

“What we’ve been lacking regionally is a strategy that would aid us in our negotiation process when we go to the conferences of the parties referred to as COPs,” says Rochelle Newbold, Special Advisor on Climate Change and Environmental Matters and Climate Tsar in the Office of the Prime Minister in The Bahamas.

“This year will be COP number 27 and, as a region, we have never put forward a strategy document or an intent of how we want to deal with the issues that we face within the region collectively,” Newbold added.

The conference agenda will also focus on renewable energy, energy security, climate adaptation, climate financing, loss and damage due to tropical weather systems and establishing a framework for the sale of carbon credits.

Delegates attending COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland in December 2021 signed off on a global climate agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and counter global warming by limiting the temperature rise on Earth to a 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold.

The global warming phenomenon has been linked to more frequent and aggressive hurricanes in the Caribbean, which have subjected the region to billions of dollars in damage and bound countries to burdensome loan commitments.

According to the Assessment of the Effects and Impacts of Hurricane Dorian in The Bahamas report issued by the Inter-American Development Bank in March 2022,       damage and losses from Hurricane Dorian amounted to US$3.4 billion, a quarter of the country’s GDP.

A heat wave rolling across the United States and Europe is also being attributed to rising temperatures.

The UK recorded temperatures of over 40°C (104°F) for the first time in July 2022, according to local forecasters.

“We know that if we reach that 1.5°C and we exceed it, everything changes for everybody. While land-locked countries and large continents like South America will experience a change, island-states will experience that change three and four-fold.”

“With this meeting we will have all of those who face the same threat level sitting down together, discussing options, considering what is being suggested and how realistic this will be. For us, this is a fundamental thing that we should have been doing a long time ago,” Newbold said.

At the conclusion of the meeting, a Chair’s Summary will be made available detailing the scope of the discussions as well as key messages and ideas that emerge. Additionally, the region plans to launch an initiative at COP27 to advance advocacy efforts on behalf of Caribbean States.


Photo Caption: During the weekly Press Briefing, at his Office, on August 4, 2022, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis announced that The Bahamas will host the Regional Caribbean Heads of Government Meeting, 16-17 August, 2022 at Baha Mar Resort.  (BIS Photos/Eric Rose)


For Press Inquiries:

Clint Watson, Press Secretary

Office of The Prime Minister

Commonwealth of The Bahamas

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Bahamas News

Polio is back; 65 million missed shots in another COVID fall out



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#USA, August 4, 2022 – For the first time in almost a decade a new case of polio was recorded in the United States. The case which ended in paralysis emphasizes the danger the region faces as vaccination levels drop to 30-year lows.

The World Health Organization warned in early July explained that vaccination in the region of the Americas and the rest of world was dropping rapidly because of various spin off effects precipitated by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Over 65 million infants missed out on basic vaccines in the last three years thanks to disruptions in routine healthcare, lockdowns and other circumstances. The effects are already being felt as once eradicated disease like measles and polio are once again emerging.

The Pan American Health Organization announced earlier this year the Americas are now facing another measles outbreak after having been declared free of the disease in 2016.

Dr. Jarvis Barbosa, Assistant director of PAHO said vaccination levels are now as low as they were in 1994 for measles and polio and Brazil has had several outbreaks of measles.

In the case of the United States an unvaccinated young adult developed the disease after contact with another individual vaccinated with a live version of the vaccine.

The breakout polio case in the US sent shockwaves across the country because of the severe nature of the disease. Polio is an extremely dangerous disease with no known cure. It causes paralysis in as many as 1 in 200 infected and that paralysis is permanent.

Normally very few school age children would be at risk in the Americas as the vaccine is required to start school but with the gap in vaccinations many more children are now at risk.

Polio was one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century, paralyzing and killing hundreds of thousands, especially children. Thankfully vaccinated individuals are not at risk and as such the WHO is advising that the best way to protect against polio is vaccination.


Photo Caption:  Child in Benin takes Polio vaccine, UNSDG

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Bahamas News

Bahamas gets a slice of South Florida, officially



By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer


#TheBahamas, August 5, 2022 – The Bahamas now has a city named after it in the US.  On Tuesday, July 19, Miami commissioners voted to mark a section of Miami’s oldest neighbourhood as the “Little Bahamas of Coconut Grove,” in recognition of the Bahamians who settled in the area in the 19th century, even before Miami was established as a city.

The decision was made to mark the area’s cultural and historical importance.  This is the second time that the commission has formally named a neighbourhood with boundaries by resolution.

The naming of the neighbourhood comes at a time when the West Grove is under pressure from gentrification that threatens to displace long-time residents, including descendants of Bahamian settlers and early pioneers who came from other states in the American South.

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