World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed that an isolated case of Monkeypox has been reported in Pujehun district in the Southern Province of Sierra Leone.
The patient a 35-years old was said to have been admitted at the Pujehun District Government hospital on the 25th March, 2017. As a result, biological samples were shipped to the Democratic Republic of Congo for laboratory test and at the end they were confirmed positive for the Monkeypox virus on April 17 2017. However the patient was also said to have been discharged on Saturday 29th April 2017 after completing treatment.
According to WHO Communication Officer- Laura Keenan, the Pujehun patient and Monkeypox are not connected to the recent deaths and patients in Liberia.
She added that active surveillance has been instituted in the affected communities with no new cases identified so far. However, she said thirteen close contacts to the index case are been monitored, but she added that none has exhibited any signs or symptoms of the disease so far and that the contacts will continue to be monitored for an additional 17 days which is twice the incubation period for the Monkeypox virus.
Monkeypox virus is a rare viral disease that occurs in the rain forest regions of Central and West Africa and is transmitted to people mainly from infected animals, including squirrels, rats, mice and primates, but the disease is not highly infectious between humans.The Ministry of Health and Sanitation with support from WHO, CDC. Public Health U.K and other health partners are said to have continued to closely monitor the situation while serious social mobilization ongoing in the affected communities.
The Ministry of Health and Sanitation has issued public notices advising the public to abstain from trapping and eating bush meat especially rodents such as squirrels and rats, which can be vectors for the Monkeypox.
It could be recalled that on the 25th April 2017, Sinoe Country Liberia, reported 17 medical cases and nine deaths that are unexplained.
This situation created panic across Sierra Leone owing to the Ebola Virus Disease the crossed the boarders of Liberia into Sierra Leone causing the death of over 4000 Sierra Leoneans.
However the Ministry of Health and Sanitation had moved swiftly to allay the fears of the public that the situation is effectively under control.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.