The World Health Organization (WHO) reports four cases of monkeypox, including 2 deaths during the last week of February in the Central African Republic.
The cases were reported in the health districts of Mbaïki and Bimbo.
Monkeypox is in the same family of viruses as smallpox but generally causes a milder infection. It can be spread between people through direct contact with skin lesions or body fluids, or contaminated materials such as clothing or linens. It can also be spread through large respiratory droplets which generally cannot travel more than a few feet, and prolonged face-to-face contact is required.
Illness typically begins with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes, progressing to a widespread rash on the face and body. Most infections last 2-4 weeks. The individuals identified as having been potentially exposed to this case will be monitored for symptoms of monkeypox for 21 days after exposure.
Human monkeypox infections primarily occur in central and western African countries.