In a follow-up to a report last week on a monkeypox outbreak in the Sub-prefecture of Mingala in the southern Central African Republic (CAR), health officials now put the death toll to the viral disease at 10, according to African media (computer translated).
“We have logged 10 deaths out of 19 patients,” in the southern province of Basse-Kotto, said Dr Joachim Tenguere of the public health emergencies operations centre.
Further deaths have been reported from other villages in Haute-Kotto,the country’s largest province.
Preparations are being made for a rapid intervention team to be sent to the area to help those affected cope with the monkeypox outbreak, Tenguere added.
Monkeypox is a relatively rare disease caused by the virus with the same name, which is found primarily in central and western Africa.
It is closely related to the smallpox virus (variola), the virus used in the smallpox vaccine (vaccinia), and the cowpox virus.
Infection with monkeypox is not as serious as its cousin, smallpox; however, human deaths have been attributed to monkeypox.
According to the CDC, the symptoms of monkeypox are as follows: About 12 days after people are infected with the virus, they will get a fever, headache, muscle aches, and backache; their lymph nodes will swell; and they will feel tired. One to 3 days (or longer) after the fever starts, they will get a rash. This rash 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.
Rodents, such as rope squirrels, door mice and pouched rats, are the suspected reservoir hosts, with monkeys and humans as secondary, spill-over hosts.
People at risk for monkeypox are those who get bitten by an infected animal or if you have contact with the animal’s rash, blood or body fluids. It can also be transmitted person to person through respiratory or direct contact and contact with contaminated bedding or clothing.
There is no specific treatment for monkeypox.