A top United Nations (UN) health official has warned that used clothing, particularly from countries where monkeypox outbreaks are occurring, could be contaminated with the virus.

Dr Stanley Midzi, health systems strengthening advisor at the WHO-Zimbabwe Office, said at a recent UN media workshop on development reporting in Mutare that while there is no need to panic about the emergence of monkeypox, citizens should be vigilant.

“Despite the fact that monkeypox is widespread in Central and West Africa, the public must remain vigilant and not relax their guard.” “The majority of secondhand clothes that arrive in Zimbabwe come from European countries like the United Kingdom, as well as some from North America, where cases have been documented,” he said.

Dr. Midzi believes that the country’s current bales are highly unlikely to be contaminated.

“I’d like to think that the bales that are already available in Zimbabwe left before 7 May, so we shouldn’t be too concerned, but a temporary ban on secondhand clothes arriving after 7 May might be a good idea in the future.”

“Until this is resolved, we should not allow the importation of used clothing from these sources,” he said.

On May 7, the first case of monkeypox in Europe was discovered.

Dr. Midzi advises those who buy used clothing to thoroughly disinfect it before wearing it to reduce the risk of contracting the disease.

“Business travellers who visit affected countries and then return home may also spread the disease.”

As a result, it is best to keep a physical distance from such people “he said.

“Within five to 21 days of infection, symptoms must appear.”

There’s no need to panic; as long as you keep this under control” 

Close contact with lesions, bodily fluids, respiratory droplets, and contaminated materials such as bedding allows the monkeypox virus to spread.

Monkeypox typically manifests itself in six to thirteen days, but it can manifest itself as late as twenty-one days.

Several animal species have been identified as being susceptible to the monkeypox virus.

Monkeypox is usually self-limiting, but in some people, such as children, pregnant women, or those with immune suppression due to other medical conditions, it can be severe.

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