The government is collecting more transmission data and preparing a response if a case is identified. The government has declared that its specialists are on high alert in case monkeypox, a potentially fatal contagious disease spreads to 12 countries. The disease, which is spread through close contact with an infected person, commonly manifests as an acute skin rash, headache, fever, and swollen lymph nodes.

Muscular and joint discomfort, back pain, and severe weakness are also symptoms. The skin rash may mimic that caused by chickenpox or syphilis, but the distinguishing hallmark is fluid-filled blisters on the palms of the hands, according to experts. The Ministry of Health’s commissioner for epidemiology and surveillance, Dr. Allan Muruta, told the Daily Monitor yesterday that they are equipped to prevent and manage monkeypox.

“Uganda is in jeopardy because people are constantly traveling.” We are currently on high alert and will continue to watch as more information about how it is spreading becomes available.” “There’s also [preparation for] responding [if a case is identified],” he continued.

Dr. Muruta claims that Uganda has never had monkeypox. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported 98 cases of monkeypox to the organization since May 13, scattered over three WHO regions, from 12 member nations that are not endemic to the monkeypox virus.

“Endemic monkeypox disease is frequently limited to West and Central Africa.” The identification of confirmed and suspected cases of monkeypox in multiple countries without any travel history to an endemic area is unusual; thus, there is an urgent need to raise awareness about monkeypox and conduct comprehensive case finding and isolation (with supportive care), contact tracing, and supportive care to limit further onward transmission,” according to the statement. Monkeypox, according to Dr. Muruta, is a zoonotic disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans.

“It spreads by the body fluids and droplets of infected people.” They believe the most recent outbreak is sexually transmitted. It is, nevertheless, a well-known virus. It has been present [in neighboring countries] and causes little concern; it is manageable,” he said. According to the WHO, instances have been detected mostly, but not exclusively, among males who have sex with men seeking care in primary care and sexual health clinics.

“The situation is changing, and WHO expects more cases of monkeypox to be discovered as surveillance expands in non-endemic countries.” The World Health Organization said in a statement that “those who have had intimate personal contact with someone who has monkeypox while they are symptomatic are most at risk.”

“Eating undercooked meat and other animal products from infected animals is a possible risk factor.” “Monkeypox is typically self-limiting,” according to the WHO, “although it can be severe in some people, such as children, pregnant women, or those who have immune suppression from other medical diseases.”

Human infections in the West African clade, according to the WHO, appear to cause less severe disease than in the Congo Basin clade, with a case fatality rate of 3.6 per cent compared to 10.6 per cent for the Congo Basin.

In comparison, the global Covid-19 death rate is estimated to be around 1.4 per cent, while rates in some countries, particularly in Africa, are much lower. The fatality rate refers to the number of infected people who die.

Epidemic-hit nations

Monkeypox has been identified in Benin, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana (in animals only), Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, the Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, and South Sudan, according to the WHO. The current pandemic has hit Europe, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Australia.

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