Africa: Benin reports 3 cases of monkeypox



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Three cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in Benin, according to laboratory reports published on June 14, 2022. Two of the cases are believed to have recently traveled to Nigeria. The other case was detected in the north of the country with no reported history of recent travel.

Monkeypox Image/CDC

Monkeypox (MPX) is a rare viral infectious zoonosis (i.e. an infection transmitted from animals to humans) that is endemic to areas in and near tropical rainforests of Central and West Africa.

The virus can spread both from animal to human (which is the first (spread) event preceding the detection of cases in humans) and from human to human. Animal-to-human transmission can occur through direct contact with the blood, body fluids, skin or mucosal lesions of infected animals (eg monkeys, squirrels and rodents). This can occur through a bite, scratch, handling or consumption of undercooked bushmeat or other infected products. Human-to-human (person-to-person) transmission occurs when a person comes into contact with the virus from an infected human being or materials contaminated with the virus such as clothing, bedding. As a result, household members or healthcare workers are at greater risk of infection. The virus enters the body through damaged skin (even if it is not visible), the respiratory tract or the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose or mouth. Human-to-human transmission can also occur through aerosols/droplets following prolonged face-to-face or close contact.

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Symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, body aches, weakness, swollen lymph nodes (glands), and rash. After about 1-3 days of fever, the rash appears, starting on the face and then spreading to the body, with the face and palms/soles most affected. They can also occur in and around the genitals, so contact during sex is a mode of transmission. It is mainly a self-limiting disease that often lasts 2 to 4 weeks.