Three cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in Benin, according to laboratory reports released on 14 June 2022. Two of the cases reportedly had recent travel history to Nigeria. The other case was detected in the North of the country with no reported history of recent travel.
Monkeypox (MPX) is a rare viral zoonotic infectious disease (i.e., an infection transmitted from animals to humans) that is endemic in areas in and near tropical rainforests in Central and West Africa.
The virus can spread both from animal-to-human (which is the first (spill-over) event preceding the detection of cases in humans), and from human-to-human. Animal-to-human transmission may occur by direct contact with the blood, body fluids, the skin or mucosal lesions of infected animals (e.g., monkeys, squirrels, and rodents). This can happen through a bite, scratch, handling of, or eating inadequately cooked or other products of infected bushmeat. Human-to-human (person-to-person) transmission occurs when a person comes into contact with the virus from an infected human, or materials contaminated with the virus such as clothing, beddings. As a consequence, household members or healthcare workers are at greater risk of infection. The virus enters the body through broken skin (even if not visible), the respiratory tract, or the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, or mouth. Human-to-human transmission may also occur through aerosols/droplets following prolonged face-to-face or close contact.
Symptoms of the illness include fever, headache, body aches, weakness, swollen lymph nodes (glands) and a rash. After about 1 to 3 days of fever, the rash erupts, beginning on the face and then spreading to the body with the face and palms/soles being mostly affected. They can also occur in and around the genitals which is why contact during sex is one mode of transmission. It is mostly a self-limiting illness that often lasts for 2−4 weeks.
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