Health authorities in Liberia have confirmed the first case of the MONKEYPOX virus.
Addressing a joint Press Conference in the Liberian Capitol Monrovia, Liberia’s Health Minister, Dr. Wilhelmina S. Jallah, stated that sample collected and test from a traveler in Maryland county from Neighboring Ivory Coast has now proven to be the Monkeypox virus.
Dr. Jallah stated the patient 43 years is now being taken to a isolation center in the commercial district of Pleebo, Maryland county, and is undergoing treatment.
Minister Jallah said Liberia has heightened its surveillance system to ensure active case detection at ports of entry, including the Roberts International Airport.
Dr. Jallah stated that’s Liberia has the capacity to detect, and conduct analysis of monkeypox sample within 24hrs and there’s no need for panic.
Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease indigenous to Central Africa. In humans, the disease is similar to smallpox, though milder.
The symptoms of monkeypox follows about 12 days after people are infected with the virus. Usually the patient gets high fever, headache, muscle aches, and backache; their lymph nodes will swell, and they will feel tired.
During the first to third days (or longer) after the fever starts, patients experience rashes. These rashes develops into raised bumps filled with fluid and often starts on the face and spreads, but it can start on other parts of the body too. The bumps go through several stages before they get crusty, scab over, and fall off. The illness usually lasts for 2 to 4 weeks.
Also speaking during the press conference was Miss Jane McCauley, Director General, National Public Health Institute of Liberia.
Miss McCauley told Newsmen that NPHIL surveillance team were conducting case findings and contact tracing of persons the victim came in contact with.
For his part WHO country Representative to Liberia, Dr. Peter Clements stated that WHO is in full readiness to work with it’s Liberian counterparts in managing and controlling further spread of the monkeypox virus.
So far this year, there have been more than 3,000 confirmed monkeypox cases in countries beyond Central and West Africa, but no deaths have been reported. In Africa, however, health officials have reported more than 70 deaths that they suspect were caused by monkey pox.
Several European countries (Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), Australia, Canada, Nigeria, Singapore and the United States of America have published full-length or partial genome .