Following the declaration by the World Health Organization that the outbreak of monkeypox is a public health emergency of international concern, the Government of Uganda has intensified surveillance with scientists starting to test for monkey pox virus internally to increase vigilance and prevention against the disease. 

Prior to the declaration by the World Health Organization, Uganda has been sending samples to South Africa for monkey pox testing due to lack of reagents which reagents have since been procured and therefore samples can now be tested in Uganda. 

The Uganda Virus Research Institute also revealed that samples which had been sent to South Africa for monkey pox testing turned out negative. 

According to the Ministry of Health spokesperson, the WHO declaration means Ugandans should become more vigilant and report any signs and symptoms consistent with monkey pox 

Reports indicate that Monkey pox starts manifesting with flu-like symptoms, fever, headache and shortness of breath. After around two weeks, the skin rash appears on some parts of the body, usually the head and hands. The rash eventually turns into blisters filled with pus. 

The declaration of Monkey pox as a public health emergency was made on Saturday by Dr. Tedros after more than 16,000 cases were reported from 75 countries and five deaths. 
“WHO’s assessment is that the risk of monkey pox is moderate globally, except in the European region where we assess the risk as high. There is also a clear risk of further international spread although the risk of interference with international traffic remains low,” said WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus 

The monkey pox virus is transmitted to humans through close contact with blood, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding and reports indicate, it is primarily being driven by sex between men. 

  

 

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