Monkeypox in Ghana: Cases of MONKEYPOX are popping up all over the world, drawing attention to the rare tropical disease.
Monkeypox in Ghana
Ghana has confirmed the country’s first five cases of monkeypox. According to the Ghana Health Service, the virus has been discovered in three regions: Eastern, Western, and Greater Accra.
Dr. Patrick Kuma Aboagye, Director General of the GHS, explains that since May 24, 2022, they have investigated a total of 12 suspicious instances.
Signs and Symptoms of Monkeypox
In humans, the symptoms of monkeypox are similar to but milder than the symptoms of smallpox. Monkeypox begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion.
The main difference between the symptoms of smallpox and monkeypox is that monkeypox causes lymph nodes to swell (lymphadenopathy) while smallpox does not.
The incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) for monkeypox is usually 7−14 days but can range from 5−21 days.
The illness begins with:
- Muscle aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body.
Lesions progress through the following stages before falling off:
The illness typically lasts for 2−4 weeks. In Africa, monkeypox has been shown to cause death in as many as 1 in 10 persons who contract the disease.
How to protect your body from monkeypox
Even though health experts say the risks to the public are low, see several things you can do to reduce your risk of catching the virus.
These recommendations are from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.K. National Health Service and WHO include:
- Avoid contact with people who recently get the virus or those who have been infected. Wear a face mask if you are in close contact with someone who has symptoms.
- Use condoms and look out for symptoms if you recently change your sexual partner.
- Avoid contact with animals that can carry the virus. This includes sick or dead animals and particularly those with a history of infection, like monkeys, rodents, and prairie dogs.
- Practice good hand hygiene, especially after you come in contact with infected — or suspected infected — animals or humans. For example, wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Use personal protective equipment when you care for patients with confirmed or suspected monkeypox infection.
- Only eat meat that is cooked well.