One person has been confirmed dead in the Upper East Region after testing positive for monkeypox.
This was confirmed by the Upper East Regional Director of Health Services, Dr Emmanuel Kofi Dzotsi, who also indicated that it was the region’s first monkeypox case.
The confirmed case, according to a press statement, was recorded on 22 July, 2022 at the Upper East Regional Hospital with history of fever and skin rash.
“Unfortunately, the case died on the 26th of July 2022. Samples were taken on July 22, 2022, for confirmation at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) in Accra. We received feedback on July 28, 2022, indicating the sample tested positive for Monkeypox disease,” the statement clarified.
Dr Dzotsi added that 13 contacts close to the confirmed case have been identified for contact follow-up and monitoring.
“As of 31st July 2023 no additional cases have been confirmed,” he added.
The monkeypox outbreak has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization.
WHO has since activated its highest alert level for the growing monkeypox outbreak whose epicentre is Europe.
This means the WHO now views the outbreak as a significant enough threat to global health that a coordinated international response is needed to prevent the virus from spreading further and potentially escalating into a pandemic.
Monkeypox is a member of a closely related group of viruses in the Orthopoxvirus genus that includes smallpox, cowpox, and camelpox.
It was first discovered in the summer of 1958 as a non-lethal, smallpox-like, skin disease in captive monkeys at a research institute in Denmark.
The name monkeypox is a misnomer since terrestrial African rodents (rats and squirrels) serve as the natural reservoir of the virus, while monkeys and other primates are believed to be accidental hosts.
Mode of Transmission
Monkeypox can be transmitted through close physical contact with animals or humans, their body fluids, contaminated droplet particles from respiratory secretions or infected skin lesions, and indirectly by way of “fomites” (inanimate objects such as bed linens, towels, and hard surfaces that may be laden with infectious virus particles).
The clinical manifestations of human monkeypox infection mimic those of smallpox, but are typically much milder. Unlike monkeypox, smallpox is an eradicated disease, has no animal reservoir, and does not usually affect the lymph nodes.
The incubation period of monkeypox in humans ranges from four to 21 days and is followed by a one- to five-day phase of fevers, chills, sweats, fatigue and enlarged, tender lymph nodes in the neck and groin.