MONROVIA – Liberia is currently monitoring and treating a male who was recently diagnosed with the monkeypox virus in Maryland County.
Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic infection, meaning that it can spread from animals to humans. It can also spread from person to person.
Health authorities in Liberia at a news conference Monday July 25, 2022 confirmed the first case of the virus.
Liberia’s Health Minister, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, reading a press statement on behalf the Liberian government disclosed that sample was collected from the victim and tested positive of the monkeypox.
The man is believed to be a traveler who entered Maryland County with the virus. He reportedly went to the Pleebo Government’s Health facilities where it was proven to be the Monkeypox virus.
Health Minister Dr. Wilhemina Jallah said the male patient has been taken into isolation and undergoing treatment.
The Health Minister said Liberia has heightened its surveillance system to ensure active case detection at ports of entry, including the Roberts International Airport among others.
“Liberia has the capacity to detect, and conduct analysis of monkeypox simple within 24hrs and there’s no need for panic,” she noted.
Speaking earlier during the press conference, the Director General of National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) Miss Jane McCauley said NPHIL surveillance team were conducting case findings and contact tracing of persons the victim came in contact with.
For his part, the World Health Organization (WHO), Country Representative to Liberia, Dr. Peter Clements disclosed that WHO is in full readiness to work with it’s Liberian counterparts in managing and controlling further spread of the monkeypox virus in Liberia.
“So far this year, there have been more than 3,000 confirmed monkeypox cases in countries beyond Central and West Africa, but no deaths have been reported. In Africa, however, health officials have reported more than 70 deaths that they suspect were caused by monkey pox,” he said.
According to the WHO, Monkeypox can cause a range of signs and symptoms.
While some people have mild symptoms, others may develop more serious symptoms and need care in a health facility.
Those at higher risk for severe disease or complications include people who are pregnant, children and persons that are immunocompromised.
The most common symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy, and swollen lymph nodes. This is followed or accompanied by the development of a rash which can last for two to three weeks.
The rash can be found on the face, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, eyes, mouth, throat, groin, and genital and/or anal regions of the body.
The number of lesions can range from one to several thousand. Lesions begin flat, then fill with liquid before they crust over, dry up and fall off, with a fresh layer of skin forming underneath.
Symptoms typically last two to three weeks and usually go away on their own or with supportive care, such as medication for pain or fever. People remain infectious until all of the lesions have crusted over, the scabs fallen off and a new layer of skin has formed underneath.