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Government Strengthens Monkeypox Surveillance

Government Strengthens Monkeypox Surveillance

Government scientists have embarked on testing for monkeypox internally in a bit to increase vigilance and prevention against the disease.

This comes on the backdrop of the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaration that the outbreak of monkeypox is a public health emergency of international concern.

In the past, Uganda has been sending samples to South Africa to test them for monkeypox because the scientists had no reagents.

The Ministry of Health spokesperson yesterday revealed fears that there could be another lockdown or mandatory vaccination against the disease. He said the WHO declaration means Ugandans should become more vigilant.

“We have been doing our surveillance and that is what we continue to do. There is no cause for alarm. People should report signs and symptoms consistent with monkeypox,” he said.

At the start, the disease manifests with flu-like symptoms, fever, headache and shortness of breath. Two weeks after contracting the disease, the skin rash then starts appearing in some parts of the body, especially the hands and head.

According to the WHO, the rash eventually turns into blisters filled with pus.

Prof Pontiano Kaleebu, the director of Uganda Virus Research Institute, said they got the reagents for testing monkeypox.

“But so far, all results are for samples tested in South Africa and all are negative,” he said. 

Increased covid-19 cases

Meanwhile In other news, the Ministry of Health raised its concern over the increased positivity rate of Covid-19. Health experts and behavioral scientists said the decline in infections and deaths in the country made people relax on vaccination and observation of SOPs.

This led to a reluctance of taking Covid-19 vaccines and booster doses. Covid-19 positivity is now apparently at 4.8%. Dr Daniel Kyabayinze, Director of public health at Ministry Of Health, said cases have averaged 600 per week in the last two weeks.

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