A male patient escaped a Jamaican hospital in May Pen Hospital in Clarendon after being diagnosed with the highly contagious monkeypox. The patient was the country’s first known case of monkeypox.

The man escaped on Saturday 9 July 2022 has since been found and returned to isolation.

The patient reportedly said he wanted to “enjoy” his vacation in Jamaica. The Health Ministry revealed that the man jumped through a window at the hospital and left in a waiting motorcar. The escape was described as “premeditated and planned” in a statement from the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton.

Monkeypox Patient Escapes May Pen Hospital, Jamaica

Before being located, police and health authorities worked hard to find him. The police even visited his home without any luck. Later a family member confirmed that the patient had made his way to their house, the police then collected him.

“Monkeypox is a viral disease that can be transmitted from person to person. It is therefore important that anyone with knowledge of the patient’s whereabouts contact the police so that he can be returned to isolation, pending the resolution of his illness,” said a statement by Tufton. 

Tufton also urged others not to harm the man, before found, in a Gleaner interview.

“The solution is not to try to apprehend or engage in any confrontation with any individual having these symptoms. The best thing is to call the police or the parish health authority,” he continued.

The man went to the health system on July 5, having arrived on the island 5 days previously. The monkeypox patient previously traveled from the UK.

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