East African countries urged to take measures against monkeypox

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Undated photo currently posted on the website of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows a child affected with monkeypox. (Courtesy of CDC)
Undated photo currently posted on the website of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows a child affected with monkeypox. (Courtesy of CDC)
Spining

The East African Community (EAC) has urged its member states to provide necessary information for their citizens to protect themselves against monkeypox and prevent the virus from spreading.

The EAC, an intergovernmental organization based in Arusha, Tanzania, said in a statement late Thursday that because of the proximity of the EAC member states to some of the affected countries, it is important to take precautionary measures to minimize its spread. The EAC member states are Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda.

“It is important that people are given necessary information on the nature of the disease and how they can protect themselves and prevent the disease from spreading,” said Christophe Bazivamo, the EAC deputy secretary-general in charge of the Productive and Social Sectors. “This will also help in avoiding unnecessary panic and stigmatization particularly now that people easily associate any disease outbreak to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti announced at an online media briefing held Thursday that with nearly 1,900 confirmed monkeypox cases in 39 countries across the globe, eight African countries have reported cases.

Ghana and Morocco, which have not previously recorded cases of monkeypox, now have five and one confirmed cases, respectively. There have been 36 confirmed cases in Nigeria, 10 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), eight in the Central African Republic, three each in Benin and Cameroon, and two in the Republic of the Congo, Moeti specified.

The WHO said the sudden appearance of monkeypox in multiple countries across the world indicates the virus has been spreading undetected for some time outside the west and central African nations where it is usually found.

Monkeypox transmission is possible through close contact with an infected person, or objects including clothes and bedsheets, as well as droplets, according to the WHO. Enditem

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