Monkeypox is a viral disease transmitted to humans through contact with the blood, bodily fluids, or cutaneous or mucosal lesions of infected animals. Human infections have been documented through the handling of infected monkeys, Gambian giant rats and squirrels, with rodents being the most likely reservoir of the virus. The symptoms include fever, intense headache, swelling of the lymph nodes, back pain, muscle ache and lack of energy. There could be skin rashes that begin on the face and spread to other parts of the body and evolve to pustules and crusts.
There are currently no specific treatments or vaccines for monkeypox virus infection, but prior smallpox vaccination may reduce the effect of the disease.
Prevention and control can be achieved by avoiding physical contact with rodents, primates, infected persons or contaminated materials, and direct exposure to blood and inadequately cooked meat.
Recent Outbreaks in Africa
- Cameroon – 30 April through 30 May 2018. This outbreak has been declared over with one confirmed and 15 suspected cases and no deaths.
- Nigeria – 4 September through 9 December 2017. This outbreak was declared over with 172 suspected and 61 confirmed cases 14 and 23 states respectively. No deaths were reported.
- Central Africa Republic – 4 September and 7 October 2016. There were 26 suspected and three confirmed cases with one death reported.
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