Monkeypox: 10 Cases Confirmed in South West Region

The South West Regional Delegate for Public Health, Filbert Eko Eko has announced the resurgence of Monkeypox in the region.

In an interview, the Regional Delegate indicated that ten cases of the virus had been confirmed in the Foe Bakundu and Kumba health districts.

It is worth recalling that this is the second time these health districts are reporting cases of Monkeypox.

In October 2022, two cases of the virus were confirmed at these health districts.

Government Weighs In, Calls for Vigilance

In response to this outbreak, the Ministry of Public Health had called on inhabitants of the affected areas to use masks and report any suspected cases to the nearest health districts.

About Monkeypox

The World Health Organisation says Monkeypox (Mpox) is an infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus.

“It can cause a painful rash, enlarged lymph nodes and fever. Most people fully recover, but some get very sick,” the WHO website indicates.

The virus was discovered in Denmark in 1958 in monkeys kept for research.

The first reported human case of the virus was on a nine-month-old boy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (former DRC) in 1970.

Transmission Routes

Monkeypox has two major transmission routes: person-to-person and animal-to-person.

Person-to-person transmission of monkeypox can occur through:

– face-to-face (talking or breathing)

– skin-to-skin (touching or sex)

– mouth-to-mouth (kissing)

– mouth-to-skin contact (oral sex or kissing the skin)

– respiratory droplets

Animal-to-human transmission of monkeypox can happen through bites or scratches or during activities like hunting, skinning, trapping, cooking, handling dead animals or eating animals.

The WHO further indicates that people can contract monkeypox from contaminated objects like clothing or beddings, injuries with sharp objects or even while doing tattoos.

Symptoms of Monkeypox

– fever

– sore throat

– headache

– muscle aches

– back pain

– low energy

– swollen lymph nodes

Preventive Measures

The WHO recommends the following measures to prevent Monkeypox:

– stay home and in your own room if possible

– wash hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, especially before or after touching sores

– wear a mask and cover lesions when around other people until your rash heals

– keep skin dry and uncovered (unless in a room with someone else)

– avoid touching items in shared spaces and disinfect shared spaces frequently

– use saltwater rinses for sores in the mouth

– take sitz baths or warm baths with baking soda or Epsom salts for body sores

– take medications for pain like paracetamol or ibuprofen.

– do not burst blisters or scratch sores as this can slow healing, spread the rash to other parts of the body and cause sores to become infected.

– do not shave areas with sores until scabs have healed and you have new skin underneath as this can spread the rash to other parts of the body.

At press time, no new cases have been recorded in the South West Region.

In the meantime, health officials in the region say those infected are responding to treatment.

Compiled by Eleanor Ayuketah Ngochi 

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