By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

During the week ending March 15, health officials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo reported an additional 73 suspected cases of monkeypox, bringing the total to 1,471 suspected cases including 18 deaths were reported in the country.

Monkeypox Image/CDC

The majority of cases were reported from the Provinces of: Sankuru (817 cases, 56%), Equateur (163 cases, 11%), Bas-Uele (131 cases, 9%), Mongala (99 cases, 7%) and Tshopo (79 cases, 5%).

Last year, the DRC reported a cumulative total of 5 288 monkeypox cases, including 107 deaths.

Monkeypox is a rare disease that occurs throughout remote parts of Central and West Africa, often near tropical rainforests. It is spread through contact with the monkeypox virus from an animal or human (alive or dead) or with materials contaminated with the virus.

Symptoms begin with fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes and exhaustion, and is followed by a rash. Patients are usually ill for 2-4 weeks. Monkeypox is fatal in as many as 10% of people who get it.