A 35-year old peasant farmer from Kpaku village, Galliness Perri chiefdom, Pujehun district in the southern region of Sierra Leone has been diagnosed with monkeypox, according to UN health officials.


The patient developed ill-health on 14 March 2017. He presented to a local health facility on 16 March 2017 with fever, body pains, malaise, dysphagia, and enlarged cervical lymph nodes; and was presumptively treated for malaria and sore throat as an out-patient.

On 17 March 2017, he developed generalized vesicular skin eruptions in addition to the initial constitutional clinical features. The case-patient was admitted to Pujehun district hospital on 25 March 2017.

Laboratory results from Institut National de Recherche Biomedicale (INRB) in Kinshasha, DRC last week indicated that the vesicular swab tested positive for Orthopox virus by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay and monkeypox virus by GeneXpert technique. Based on these results, the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health notified WHO on 17 April 2017 of the outbreak of monkeypox.

Thirteen close contacts to the index case were listed and are being followed up. None of them have developed any febrile illness and/or skin lesions in the first 21 days since the last exposure. The contacts are still being monitored for additional 21 days (twice the maximum incubation period of monkeypox).

This is the second sporadic occurrence of monkeypox in the country, with the first one reported in March 2014 in Bo district located in the southern region of the country.