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There’s a suspected first case of monkeypox in the Ahanta West District in the Western Region of Ghana. In a twitter post sighted by DFSLIVENEWS, Dr. Kofi Adum-Attah posted a picture of someone with the symptoms of the disease, “Ahanta West records first case of suspected monkeypox?’
Since 13 May 2022, cases of monkeypox have been reported to WHO from 12 Member States that are not endemic for monkeypox virus, across three WHO regions. Epidemiological investigations are ongoing, however, reported cases thus far have no established travel links to endemic areas. Based on currently available information, cases have mainly but not exclusively been identified amongst men who have sex with men (MSM) seeking care in primary care and sexual health clinics. The situation is evolving and WHO expects there will be more cases of monkeypox identified as surveillance expands in non-endemic countries. Immediate actions focus on informing those who may be most at risk for monkeypox infection with accurate information, in order to stop further spread. Current available evidence suggests that those who are most at risk are those who have had close physical contact with someone with monkeypox, while they are symptomatic. WHO is also working to provide guidance to protect frontline health care providers and other health workers who may be at risk such as cleaners.
Description of the outbreak
As of 21 May, 92 laboratory confirmed cases, and 28 suspected cases of monkeypox with investigations ongoing, have been reported to WHO from 12 Member States that are not endemic for monkeypox virus, across three WHO regions
Epidemiology of the disease
Monkeypox is a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms very similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although it is clinically less severe. It is caused by the monkeypox virus which belongs to the orthopoxvirus genus of the Poxviridae family. There are two clades of monkeypox virus: the West African clade and the Congo Basin (Central African) clade. The name monkeypox originates from the initial discovery of the virus in monkeys in a Danish laboratory in 1958. The first human case was identified in a child in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970.
Monkeypox virus is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding. The incubation period of monkeypox is usually from 6 to 13 days but can range from 5 to 21 days.
Monkeypox is usually self-limiting but may be severe in some individuals, such as children, pregnant women or persons with immune suppression due to other health conditions. Human infections with the West African clade appear to cause less severe disease compared to the Congo Basin clade, with a case fatality rate of 3.6% compared to 10.6% for the Congo Basin clade.
Public health response
Further public health investigations are ongoing in non-endemic countries that have identified cases, including extensive case finding and contact tracing, laboratory investigation, clinical management and isolation provided with supportive care.
Genomic sequencing, where available, have been undertaken to determine the monkeypox virus clade(s) in this outbreak
Vaccination for monkeypox, where available, is being deployed to manage close contacts, such as health workers. WHO is convening experts to discuss recommendations on vaccination.