No Monkeypox In Zimbabwe As Yet- Health Ministry

The Ministry of Health and Child Care has reassured the Zimbabwean public that there has not been any Monkeypox case in Zimbabwe.

Health Reporter

In a statement, the Ministry of Health urged people to report any suspected cases of Monkeypox to the country’s health emergency number, 2019.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care would like to warn the public and its stakeholders of an on-going outbreak of monkeypox in non-endemic countries including neighboring South Africa. Currently no cases have been reported in Zimbabwe and is monitoring the evolving situation of monkeypox outbreak. The Ministry has also placed its structures on high alert and is conducting preparedness and response activities. The public is urged to report suspected cases to the nearest health facility as soon as possible or use our toll-free line: 2019,” said the Ministry.

The first case 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.

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that is endemic to Central and West Africa. It spreads through close contact with people, animals or material infected with the virus.

Symptoms of monkeypox can include:

– Fever

– 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)

– Headache

– Muscle ache and backache

– Swollen lymph nodes

– Chills

– Exhaustion

– Respiratory symptoms include (e.g sore throat, nasal congestion or cough)

Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox and symptoms are similar but it is not related to chickenpox. The illness usually last 2 – 4 weeks.

Currently, there is no proven, safe treatment for monkeypox virus infection. However, the disease can be prevented through:

  • Avoiding contact with animals that could harbor 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 sanitizer.
  • Using personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients.

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