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Ministry of Health issues precautionary guidelines on monkeypox

Uganda has no confirmed case of monkeypox but authorities said the country was heightening surveillance after right endemic countries in Africa including DRC reported an outbreak of MonkeyPox.

“The Ministry of Health would like to inform the general public that no case of Monkey Pox has been registered in Uganda. However, there is an outbreak of this disease in 23 non-endemic countries worldwide and at least eight endemic countries within the African tropical belt,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement on Monday.

Monkey Pox is a viral disease transmitted from animals to humans that is caused by the MonkeyPox virus.

It is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as beddings.

Eating inadequately cooked meat and other animal products of infected animals is a possible risk factor, a statement added.

The incubation period of MonkeyPox ranges from 6 to 13 days. Research shows that 3-6% of people succumb to the disease. Signs and symptoms include; fever, rash, intense headache, swelling of the lymph nodes, back pain, muscle aches and body weakness.

“Sometimes, symptoms may disappear even without treatment. The most vulnerable groups are children and individuals with low immunity levels.”

“MonkeyPox can be prevented by:

Avoiding physical/direct contact including intimate or sexual contact with an infected person ii. If someone is suspected or confirmed as having MonkeyPox, they should isolate at home or in an appropriate facility until the scabs have fallen off, and abstain from sex, including oral sex.

“During this period, patients must be offered supportive medical care to ease symptoms such as pain or itchiness. Patients should be monitored for early detection of any medical complications of the illness. If one develops a rash, fever or a feeling of discomfort, please contact your health worker and get tested for MonkeyPox.

“Always use appropriate Personal Protective Measures when taking care of a patient who has tested positive for MonkeyPox. The Ministry of Health working with partners is closely monitoring the evolving situation of the outbreak of Monkey Pox in different parts of the world and the following interventions are being undertaken;
Strengthening testing capabilities at Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) to test and accurately diagnose Monkey Pox.

Intensified surveillance by all health workers to look out for patients with suspected signs and symptoms of Monkey Pox and reported to the Ministry of Health through the formal reporting channels.

“Intensified partner and stakeholder engagement with other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) including the Wildlife Authority to strengthen surveillance both in the animal and human health sectors.

The Ministry also advised the general public to remain vigilant and report any suspected patient to the nearest health worker immediately.

Alternatively, you can call the Ministry of Health toll-free line on 0800-100-066 or send a free-text SMS to 6767 (Free of Charge) beginning with the ALERT”.

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