Central region

No cases of monkeypox in central region—GHS

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has refuted claims of two confirmed Monkeypox cases in the Central Region, saying this is untrue and should be treated with the contempt it deserves.

Dr Kwabena Sarpong, deputy regional director of public health, assured the public that there were no confirmed cases in Assin-Fosu municipality of the central region, but urged them to remain vigilant and maintain personal hygiene.

He said the Service has strengthened surveillance to detect, manage and institute the necessary control measures in the event of an event in the region.

Dr Sarpong told the Ghana News Agency on Monday that it was important for the public to observe hand hygiene practices and the wearing of masks, especially in enclosed places, as the mode of transmission of the illness was like COVID-19.

The initial presentation is like most infectious diseases; fever, weakness and chills, he said, and monkeypox is suspected when the skin lesion sets in.

However, he said it was important that when people felt unwell they self-isolated, particularly when investigations were not carried out to determine the cause.

The disease, Dr Sarpong said, could be contagious before one can fully show symptoms and therefore direct contact with people should be avoided once they show symptoms.

The first known human infection dates back to 1970, in a nine-year-old boy in a remote region of Congo.

Most patients only experienced fever, body aches, chills and fatigue and those with more severe illness may develop a rash and lesions on the face and hands which could spread to other parts of the body.

The incubation period was about five days to three weeks, although people generally recovered in about two to four weeks without hospitalization.

Monkeypox could be fatal for up to one in 10 people and was thought to be more serious in children.

People exposed to the virus often receive one of several smallpox vaccines, which have been shown to be effective against monkeypox, while antiviral drugs are also being developed to control the disease.

Members of the public have been advised to go to the nearest hospital when they feel unwell and develop rashes.