Report

Monkeypox: Outbreak in Non-Endemic Countries

Sudan Ministry of Health Confirms no Confirmed Case of Monkeypox in the Country

Haffiya Abdalla

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued a warning about the outbreak of monkeypox, suspected and confirmed cases are being investigated in parts of the countries including the UK, Canada, Spain, Portugal, and the US.

The first case of Monkekpox was reported on 7 May 2022 in an individual who traveled from the United Kingdom to Nigeria and subsequently returned to the United Kingdom.

WHO has notified of two laboratories confirmed cases and one probable case of monkeypox, from the same household, in the United Kingdom. On 15 May, four additional laboratories confirmed cases have been reported amongst Sexual Health Services attendees presenting with a vesicular rash illness and in gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM). As of 19th May, the total number of cases stands at 8.

Sudan Federal Ministry of Health announced taking measures after the global epidemiological situation, which indicated the emergence of cases of monkeypox disease.

And the ministry explained in a circular seen by “Page News” that the measures consisted in raising the sensitivity of the disease surveillance system, preparing diagnostic and therapeutic protocols, and a unified definition of the disease.

And he added, “Therefore, the Federal Ministry of Health requires all private and public medical institutions to immediately report to the number 9090 in case of any suspected case of severe skin rash with the appearance of any one or more of the following signs and symptoms:

Headache, fever over 38.5 degrees Celsius, muscle pain and backache, along with swollen lymph nodes.”

And she continued, “The Federal Ministry of Health confirms that no confirmed case of monkeypox has appeared so far in all countries.”

The first case of monkeypox in WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Region has been reported by the Ministry of Health and Prevention in the United Arab Emirates as countries continue to scale up detection and response capacities for this viral disease. The patient is currently receiving treatment and additional suspected cases are being investigated.

As of 23 May, 131 confirmed cases have been reported from 18 countries across the different WHO regions, with an additional 106 suspected cases being investigated. The confirmed cases are reported from non-endemic countries that do not usually report monkeypox outbreaks. There are no associated deaths to date.

“More suspected cases are being reported in our Region but not yet confirmed. In anticipation of additional confirmed cases in the Region, WHO urges countries to report against the WHO case definition and share information on cases reported on a timely basis. We are committed to providing information for health ministries, health workers, communities, and people to inform them of monkeypox and how to protect themselves and their loved ones,” said Dr. Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean.

As the situation rapidly evolves, WHO’s Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean is working closely with countries to scale up preparedness and response plans for monkeypox. The Regional Office continues to work closely with all countries to ensure that potential cases are quickly identified, tested, and responded to.

Currently, the Regional Office is working to streamline laboratory support at the national level in all countries while strengthening rt-PCR testing, surveillance, case investigation, and contact tracing.

As part of this holistic approach, the Regional Office will also provide ministries of health across the Region with a list of collaborating centers for sample shipment and testing while maintaining a sufficient supply of reagents and laboratory testing kits.

Recently, WHO issued interim guidance for countries to reinforce surveillance, case investigation, contact tracing, and treatment to break the chains of transmission and stop the outbreak.

Monkeypox mainly occurs in forested rural areas in central and Western Africa. Since the cessation of smallpox vaccination, the rising incidence of reported cases and outbreaks are raising concerns about the future spread of the disease. Despite higher risks in endemic areas, monkeypox remains under-recognized and underreported. Optimal supportive care is critical to improve the clinical course of monkeypox and avoid the most severe complications for persons affected.

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