Liberia Recalls Positive Case Of Monkeypox, Declares Outbreak

MONROVIA, July 25 (LINA) – Liberia has recorded a positive case of Monkeypox, the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed on Monday while declaring an outbreak of the viral disease. Liberia’s Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah disclosed that on the 23rd of July, the National Public Health Reference Laboratory confirmed a positive case of the Monkeypox disease in the country, originating in Maryland County, Southeastern Liberia.

This marks the second time since the Monkeypox disease was confirmed in Liberia – the first was in 2018 when the USCDC confirmed same. Minister Jallah noted that the MOH has duly informed the World Health Organization (WHO) about the situation in line with the International Health Regulations (2005) protocol.

According to Minister Jallah, a 42-year-old man who used the border between Liberia and Ivory Coast, reportedly presented himself to the health authority in Maryland County when he noticed that he was feeling sick. She urged the public to “report all cases of individuals presenting with fever, headache, muscle pains, blistering, rash and swollen lymph. Minister Jallah is also encouraging the public to immediately isolate anyone showing signs and symptoms of the disease and at the same time contact health authorities.

Monkeypox, previously thought to be endemic only in West and Central Africa, is now being reported outside Africa in other regions around the World. Reasons for this unusual pattern are currently unknown. Since July 22, 2022, the WHO has reported 16,000 confirmed cases globally from 70 countries in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. Monkeypox is a rare viral zoonotic disease with symptoms in humans like Smallpox. These include, fever, headache, muscle pains, blistering rash and swollen lymph.

The disease is transmitted from animal to human through contact and from human to human through respiratory droplets, contact with lesions and other body fluid. Meanwhile, authorities of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) have called on the general public to take the preventive measures seriously in order to save lives. The NPHIL confirmed that it is prepared to tackle the disease, confirming that it has heightened surveillance in Maryland and adjacent Counties as well as at the port of entry so as to complement current efforts from the health authorities.

The entity has also advised members of the public to avoid contact with animals that could harbor the virus including animals that are sick or that have been found dead. The public is also urged to report any skin disease or strange illness that looks like Chickenpox as well as report all cases of individuals presenting with fever, headache, muscle pains, blistering rash and swollen lymph.

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