Morocco, Sudan Probe Monkey pox cases
Morocco and Sudan are investigating suspected cases of monkey pox.
This comes after outbreaks of the virus have recently been found in Europe, Australia, America, and the Middle East.
Africa’s Health Body reports that monkey pox is usually associated with travel to central or West Africa, near tropical forests, but some of the new cases have no travel link.
Deputy Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control, CDC Dr. Ahmed Ogwell, confirmed there was still no direct link.
He said the continent had so far reported 1,405 cases and 62 monkey pox-related deaths this year, a case fatality rate of 4.4%.
These have occurred in four countries where the disease is endemic: Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nigeria.
Dr. Ogwell said all African countries were advised to scale up surveillance and testing.
Monkey pox, a mild viral infection, can be spread when someone is in close contact with an infected person.
Initial symptoms include fever, headaches, swellings, back pain, aching muscles, and a rash can develop once the fever breaks.
It is thought to be spread by rodents, such as rats, mice, and squirrels.
“The washing of hands is very important as it is a contact-spread disease,” Dr. Ogwell said.
He also advised people to avoid touching animals that looked sick and those known to be carriers and that smallpox vaccines were being administered in Africa.
“The available supplies of smallpox vaccines will be prioritised to health workers and areas with confirmed cases of the virus,” he added.