One case of the Monkeypox has been reported in the Kumba health District, South West Region of Cameroon.
In a recent press release, the South West Regional Delegate of Public Health, Dr. Eko Eko Filbert announced that a positive case from the region was confirmed by the Centre Pasteur du Cameroun ( CPC).
The patient, a 52-year-old man is currently responding to treatment in the Kumba Regional Hopital Annex.
“I reassure the population that measures are being taken at all levels to see that we contain the pathology and to reduce its spread,” Dr. Eko Eko Filbert reassures.
In the meantime, public health authorities have launched an active search for more cases while enforcing control and prevention measures.
The Regional Delegate also said symptoms of Monkeypox look “scary” at first sight although it can still be contained.
“It is not something that should call for panic. The population should collaborate with the teams in the field.”
The population has been told to rush to any nearby hospital in case of suspicion of a Monkeypox infection.
What is MonkeyPox?
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines monkeypox as
“a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although it is clinically less severe.”
The disease primarily affects people close to tropical rainforests in central and west Africa. But it has recently been reported in urban areas.
Monkeypox is transmitted by animals said to be susceptible to the virus. The animals include rope squirrels, tree squirrels, Gambian pouched rats, dormice, non-human primates and other species.
According to WHO, human monkeypox was identified for the first time in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo in a 9-month-old boy in a region where smallpox had been eliminated in 1968.
Since 1970, human cases of monkeypox have been reported in 11 African countries: Benin, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Nigeria, the Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone and South Sudan. In 2003, there was a monkeypox outbreak in the US; the first time it was reported out of Africa.
Causes, Transmission and Prevention
Health experts say monkeypox can be transmitted from direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids, or cutaneous or mucosal lesions of infected animals. It can also enter the body through broken skin, the respiratory tract, through the eyes, nose or mouth.
Monkeypox can be transmitted from humans to other humans from close contact with respiratory secretions, skin lesions of an infected person or recently contaminated objects.
The incubation period of monkeypox is usually from 6 to 13 days, but it can range from 5 to 21 days.
Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headaches, swellings, back pain, and aching muscles. The fever is usually followed by a rash which often begins on the face, then spreads to other parts of the body, especially the palms and soles of the feet. The rash, which can be extremely itchy or painful, later forms a scab and subsequently falls off. Aside treatment, the infection usually clears up on its own and lasts between 14 and 21 days.
Moneypox can be prevented through limiting unprotected contact with wild animals, especially sick or dead animals, their meat, or blood. All foods containing animal meat must be thoroughly cooked before eating.
Restrictions on animal trade in some countries has also proven to be effective in preventing the spread of the disease.
Kathy Neba Sina