Published On: Mon, Mar 19th, 2018

Monkeypox increases in Africa raise concerns

The recent apparent increase in human monkeypox cases across a wide geographic area, the potential for further spread, and the lack of reliable surveillance have raised the level of concern for this emerging zoonosis.


In November 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with CDC, hosted an informal consultation on monkeypox with researchers, global health partners, ministries of health, and orthopoxvirus experts to review and discuss human monkeypox in African countries where cases have been recently detected and also identify components of surveillance and response that need improvement.

Endemic human monkeypox has been reported from more countries in the past decade than during the previous 40 years. Since 2016, confirmed cases of monkeypox have occurred in Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, and Sierra Leone and in captive chimpanzees in Cameroon.

Many countries with endemic monkeypox lack recent experience and specific knowledge about the disease to detect cases, treat patients, and prevent further spread of the virus. Specific improvements in surveillance capacity, laboratory diagnostics, and infection control measures are needed to launch an efficient response. Further, gaps in knowledge about the epidemiology and ecology of the virus need to be addressed to design, recommend, and implement needed prevention and control measures.

Read more at MMWR

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  1. Melissa Dudley, MPH says:

    Also the cases reported in Ippy, Ouaka Prefecture is significant because it appears that this is the first time cases have been reported in this prefecture.

  2. Melissa Dudley, MPH says:

    The WHO Africa Weekly Bulletin on Outbreaks and Other Emergencies Week 11 is a misleading, specifically because there is no mention of Ippy – where the cases originated from.

    On March 17, the World Health Organization in Central Africa Republic twitter account posted the following “RCA Health Minister Dr SOMSE today declared an outbreak of Monkeypox. In total, 08 cases all from the sub-prefecture of Ippy: 3 cases quarantined at the hospital in Bria, 5 suspected cases in Ippy, 2 cases would still be on the IDP site of the Catholic Church” (see Source 1). So, three of the cases from Ippy are receiving care in the town of Bria, Haute-Kotto Prefecture, approximately 93 km (58 miles) east of Ippy.

    The WHO Africa Weekly Bulletin is correct that 2 confirmed cases have been reported. However, these two confirmed cases are from Ippy per a press release from the Institut Pasteur Bangui posted on March 12 (see Source 2).

    There was also a media report that came out on March 13 that talked about a possible case at an IDP site in Bria (see Source 3). However, the tweet from the WHO in CAR on March 17 clarifies that all the cases have been reported in Ippy.


    Source 1 – https://twitter.com/OMSCentrafrique/status/975036906013683713

    Source 2 – http://pasteur-bangui.org/12-mars-2018-le-monkeypox-variole-du-singe-devient-une-menace-de-sante-publique-en-republique-centrafricaine/

    Source 3 – http://rjdh.org/centrafrique-la-variole-du-singe-appele-monkeypox-menace-la-region-de-la-ouaka-et-de-la-haute-kotto/

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