The Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) has assured members of the public that currently no cases of monkeypox have been reported in Zimbabwe.
In a statement, MoHCC said it has placed its structures on high alert and is conducting preparedness and response activities.
The first case of monkeypox which was reported in the United Kingdom on the 7th of May 2022, has a history of having travelled to Nigeria.
As of the 31st of July 2022, a total of 6 785 confirmed cases, 106 probable cases and 561 suspected cases have been reported.
Last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the monkeypox outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
A PHEIC is a formal declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO) of “an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response”.
Symptoms of monkeypox can include:
- Rash (that can look like pimples or blisters that appear on the face, inside the mouth, or other parts of the body especially hands, feet and chest)
- Muscle ache and backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Respiratory symptoms include (e.g sore throat, nasal congestion or cough)
The disease can be prevented through:
- Avoiding contact with animals that could harbour the virus (including animals that are sick or that have been found dead in areas where monkeypox occurs).
- Avoiding contact with any materials, such as bedding, that has been in contact with a sick animal or person.
- Isolating infected patients from others who could be at risk for infection.
- Practising good hand hygiene after contact with infected animals or humans such as washing hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
- Using personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients.
Meanwhile, MoHCC has urged the public to report suspected cases to the nearest health facility as soon as possible or use our toll-free line: 2019.