WHO Issues Monkeypox Advisory to Kenya

Dr Patrick Amoth speaking at the Ministry of Health headquarters
Ministry of Health Director-General Dr Patrick Amoth speaking at the Ministry of Health headquarters on June 4, 2020.
Photo: Ministry of Health

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued an advisory to the Kenyan government regarding the ongoing spread of monkeypox disease in Africa.

In a statement on Thursday, June 23, the global health body advised Kenya to be vigilant for the disease after a unique case was reported in South Africa.

WHO stated South Africa had reported the first case where the patient did not have any travel history to any of the countries that have reported the disease. 

WHO guidelines on Monkeypox
WHO guidelines on Monkeypox

Additionally, they advised that health officials should prioritise contact tracing in a bid to contain the disease.

"With the first case of monkeypox confirmed in South Africa with no travel history, WHO is urging countries in Africa to step up surveillance of cases, including contact tracing. While monkeypox is an acute illness, it is rarely fatal." read the statement in part.

According to the WHO, monkeypox can be contracted through skin-to-skin contact, face-to-face contact, Mouth-to-skin contact, and touching infected surfaces such as bedding, towels, and clothing.

The disease - known for blisters that show on the skin all over the body also has symptoms such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, muscle and back aches, and low energy.

WHO also advised that members of the public should avoid skin contact to avoid the spread of the disease in the event that the first case is reported in the country.

"Avoid skin-to-skin, face-to-face, mouth-to-skin contact including sexual contact. Clean hands, objects, surfaces, bedding, towels, and clothes regularly

"Wear a mask if you can't avoid close contact and when handling bedding, towels, and clothes," the WHO advised.

Last month, Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache, assured the country that they were on high alert over the disease, especially at the country's entry points. 

She stated that no case had been reported in the country urging Kenyans to be vigilant of the symptoms.

“We have nothing to fear, we are going to use the same surveillance mechanisms we used during Covid19 to respond to the monkeypox outbreak. We have the capacity to test," she stated then.

Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache addesses the press
Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache addresses the press in May, 2020
Ministry of Health
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