Monkey Pox Cases Confirmed In Southwest Region Of Cameroon

The presence of the disease had been known to people for months, but now health officials have acknowledged the outbreak is spreading in the region

Cases of monkeypox have been officially confirmed in the Southwest Region of Cameroon for the first time since a worldwide outbreak was recognised, Health authorities have announced.

The cases have been found in the districts of Mbonge and Kumba in Meme Division, Southwest Regional Delegate of Public Health, Dr. Filbert Eko Eko announced. 

For months there had been unofficial reports people had caught the disease but the cases had not been officially recorded. 

The number of cases present was not disclosed.

“Tests effected in the laboratories of Centre Pasteur in Yaounde in Cameroon on the 8th October have confirmed cases of money pox”, Dr Eko said in a letter signed and addressed to the chiefs of the local health districts.

He instructed heads of the health districts to “work in collaboration with the region to ensure an efficient response to this health emergency”.

Reports of the presence of monkeypox in the Southwest, Centre and Northwest regions of the country first surfaced in July this year but remained rumours until the October 10 confirmation by a national health authority.

According to Linda Esso, sub director for the fight against epidemics and pandemics in the Ministry of Public Health, Cameroon is one of the countries where monkeypox is endemic adding that taking control of the disease has to be efficient and free of charge in health facilities in the zones where cases of monkeypox have been registered.

Monkeypox is a viral disease which first appeared in Africa in the 70s. It was for the first time detected in humans in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1970 on a nine-year-old boy, according to World Health Organisation (WHO) records.

The disease originates in mammals, but spreads between humans by skin to skin contact and prolonged periods of close proximity. Symptoms include painful rashes and blisters on the body.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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