The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, has announced that five cases of the novel monkeypox disease have been recorded in the country.
Addressing the press on Wednesday, 8 June 2022, Dr. Kuma-Aboagye listed the Eastern, Western, and Greater Accra regions as places where the cases were recorded.
“So far since the outbreak in Europe occurred, we tested 12 suspected cases in Ghana since 24 May. Currently, we have confirmed five cases in three regions – Eastern, Western, and Greater Accra – this is where we discovered the five cases, no death has occurred among the cases here,” he said.
Earlier, there were reports that the country had recorded its first case, but the service debunked the claims and assured investigations were being conducted.
There are currently no vaccines for monkeypox in the country.
According to WHO, there are currently 237 confirmed and 50 suspected cases of monkeypox around the world.
It has announced plans to contain the virus.
Monkeypox is a viral infection that is more common in West and Central Africa. There’s a recent spike in cases as over 100 infections were confirmed (or suspected) in Europe and some other countries.
A top European health official warned on 20 May that cases of the rare monkeypox virus could accelerate in the coming months.
As of 21 May, the WHO received reports of 92 laboratory-confirmed monkeypox cases and 28 suspected cases from 12 countries where the disease is not endemic.
WHO expects more cases of monkeypox to emerge globally.
The virus generally spreads to people from infected wild animals such as rodents and primates but human-to-human transmission can also occur. Similar to viruses like Ebola, transmission only happens in close proximity by contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets, or contaminated materials such as bedding or clothes.
Symptoms begin with fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion. The incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) for monkeypox is usually 7−14 days but can range from 5−21 days.
Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body. The illness typically lasts for 2−4 weeks.
In Africa, monkeypox has been shown to cause death in as many as 1 in 10 persons who contract the disease.
It can be prevented through vaccination.