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Monkeypox spread from animals to human


May 24, 2022 12:23:50 PM

Monkeypox spread from animals to human Ministry of Health head of health protection Aalisha Sahukhan says monkeypox is a virus transmitted to humans from animals.

Speaking at the invention prevention and control guideline launch, Dr Sahukhan said various animal species have been identified as susceptible to the monkeypox virus.

She said eating inadequately cooked meat and other animal products of infected animals is a possible risk factor.

“Name monkeypox originates from the initial discovery of the virus in monkeys in a Danish laboratory in 1958. The first human to have the disease was from Congo in 1970,” she said.

“It does not spread easily between people. The virus is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids and contaminated materials such as bedding.

“Recent studies show that the virus is spread among men having sex with men and the nature of the presenting lesions in some cases, suggest transmission occurred during intercourse.

“Although most cases in current outbreaks have presented with mild disease symptoms, it may cause severe disease in certain population groups.

“Young children and pregnant women are vulnerable to the virus. The likelihood of cases with severe morbidity is three to six per cent,” she said.

She said a person having monkeypox will have a headache, acute onset fever, swollen lymph nodes, muscle pain and profound weakness before developing skin rashes.

“A person that can develop monkey is someone that has had close contact with the patient and may have used contaminated materials such as clothing, bedding or utensils,” she said.

“Reported travel history to a monkeypox endemic country in the 21 days before symptom onset. However, countries like the United Kingdom have had reports of local transmission.

“No deaths have been reported to date. However, the extent of local transmission is unclear at this stage, as surveillance has been limited.

“There is a high likelihood of identification of further cases with unidentified chains of transmission, including in other population groups,” she said.

She said the incubation period for monkeypox is usually from six to 13 days but can range from five to 21 days.

By Nacanieli Tuilevuka


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