2024-06-13

MoH Dismisses Monkey Pox Case in Malawi

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The Ministry of Health in Malawi has played down the reports that the country has registered a Monkey Pox case from a man who later died on June 10, 2022.

According to the statement issued Sunday, Secretary for Health, Charles Mwansambo unearthed that the patient had a diagnosis of Varicella disease which affects organs like Skin, Brain, Liver and Lungs.

The statement added that the suspected patient had not moved outside the country and nor had he been in close contact with any known case of Monkey Pox.

“Through the Public Health Reference Laboratory at the Community Health Sciences Unit (CHSU) in Lilongwe, the ministry will proceed to process the samples from the case to guide the definitive diagnosis, ” Said Mwansambo in the statement.

Public Health expert, Professor Maureen Chirwa said the ministry should raise awareness amongst the citizens for easy identification of clinical manifestations of the disease.

Malawi Health Equity Network (Mhen) executive director, George Yobe said despite lining up measures, there is need of assurance that the country has medication for the disease to avoid panic when the cases are detected in the country.

Monkeypox is a disease caused by the monkeypox virus, a member of the same family of viruses as smallpox, although it is much less severe and experts say chances of infection are low.

It occurs mostly in remote parts of central and west African countries, near tropical rainforests. In those regions, there have been more than 1,200 cases of monkeypox since the start of the year.

Two main strains of the virus – west African and central African – are known to exist, and it’s the milder one from west Africa which is now circulating in other regions of the world.

Initial symptoms include fever, headaches, swellings, back pain, aching muscles.

Once the fever breaks a rash can develop, often beginning on the face, then spreading to other parts of the body, most commonly the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

The rash, which can be extremely itchy or painful, changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab, which later falls off. The lesions can cause scarring.

The infection usually clears up on its own and lasts between 14 and 21 days.

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