Liberian health authorities have confirmed the country’s first case of Monkeypox.
According to Liberia’s Health Minister, Dr. Wilhelmina S. Jallah, sample collected and test from a traveller in Maryland County from neighbouring Ivory Coast has now proven to be the Monkeypox Virus.
Dr. Jallah said the patient, 43 years of age has been taken to an isolation center in the commercial district of Pleebo, Maryland County and is undergoing treatment.
Minister Jallah said Liberia has heightened its surveillance system to ensure active case detection at ports of entry, including the Roberts International Airport.
He went on that Liberia has the capacity to detect, and conduct analysis of Monkeypox sample within 24hrs and there is no need for panic.
Jane McCauley, Director General, National Public Health Institute of Liberia said the NPHIL surveillance teams were conducting case findings and contact tracing of persons the victim came in contact with.
WHO Country Representative to Liberia, Dr. Peter Clements said WHO is in full readiness to work with its Liberian counterparts in managing and controlling further spread of the Monkeypox Virus.
In May 2014, Ebola spread to Sierra Leone few months after it was first confirmed in neighbouring Liberia and Guinea. It is now a worrying sign for Sierra Leone that another contagious disease has been confirmed in neighbouring Liberia.
Like Ebola, Monkeypox is a rare zoonotic viral disease belonging to the same virus family as smallpox, with cases mainly being reported from Western and Central Africa in the past. In humans, the disease is similar to smallpox, though milder.
The symptoms of Monkeypox follow about 12 days after people are infected with the virus. Usually the patient gets high fever, headache, muscle aches, and backache; their lymph nodes will swell, and they will feel tired.
During the first to third days (or longer) after the fever starts, patients experience rashes. These rashes develop into raised bumps filled with fluid and often start on the face and spreads, but it can start on other parts of the body too. The bumps go through several stages before they get crusty, scab over, and fall off. The illness usually lasts for 2 to 4 weeks.