African nations register Monkey Pox cases, how safe is Uganda?
Uganda hasn’t registered any case of Monkey pox yet.
Though the outbreak of Monkey pox has been registered in about eight countries on the African continent so far, the Ministry of Health through its director general of health services Henry G Mwebesa informed the general public that no case has so far been registered in the country as of June 6th.
According to Mwebesa, there has been an outbreak of this disease in over twenty non-endemic countries worldwide with at least eight of those in the African tropical belt.
Monkey pox is a viral disease transmitted from animals to humans and its caused by Monkey pox virus and it’s transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as their beddings.
According to research, the incubation period of Monkey pox ranges from 6 to 13 days and its signs and symptoms include fever, rash, intense headache, swelling, back pain, body weaknesses among others and vulnerable groups are the most affected with this disease.
“Eating inadequately cooked meat and other animal products of infected animals is also a possible risk factor” Mwebesa added.
Currently the Health Ministry is closely monitoring the evolving situation of the outbreak of Monkey pox and amongst the interventions taken are strengthening testing capabilities to test and accurately diagnose the disease, surveillance by all health workers to look out for patients with suspected signs and symptoms and also engaging with other departments and Agencies including the Wildlife Authority to strengthen surveillance both in the animal and health sectors.
The general public is advised to remain vigilant and report any suspect to the nearest health worker immediately they come across one.
Though the Uganda Virus Research Institute is still diagnosing Monkey pox, the disease can also be prevented by avoiding physical or direct contact with an infected person, isolation of the infected persons, reporting to a health worker for testing if any symptom or sign appears and to also use personal preventive measures when taking care of the patient who has tested positive for the disease.
According to the World Health Organization risk assesment, the public health risk at the global level is currently assessed as moderate considering that this is the first time many cases and clusters are reported concurrently in non-endemic and endemic countries in widely disparate WHO geographical areas.