The Kenyan Government through the Ministry of Health has assured its citizens that the Monkeypox virus is yet to be reported in Kenya or the East African region.
Health PS Susan Mochache said this on Wednesday while speaking at a function in Kisii County where she said the government has beefed up vigilance at virus entry points.
Mochache also said the government has put in place measures to tackle the virus in case it is reported.
“We do not have any monkeypox cases in the country or any neighbouring countries. I want to assure Kenyans that we have put in place measures to tackle the disease if we record it,” Mochache said.
However, the PS noted some Northern parts of the continent have recorded cases of the virus because of their proximity to the European continent.
“The disease has been recorded in Northern parts of the continent because of their proximity to the wild animals, but we have started hearing about it now because of its entry into Europe,” she said.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed Monkeypox instances have been recorded in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.
According to health experts, the virus can be spread if one comes into close contact with an infected person.
Exposure to infected bodily fluids, broken skin, mucous membranes or respiratory droplets puts one at risk of contracting the virus.
Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research, hence the name ‘monkeypox.’
The first human case of Monkeypox was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo during a period of intensified effort to eliminate smallpox.
Since then, Monkeypox has been reported in humans in other central and western African countries.
On the same note, Mochache urged Kenyans to continue observing Covid-19 containment protocols as the country has recorded an increase in the rate of infections lately.
She advised the members of the public to continue wearing masks even though it is not mandatory as the cold season is approaching.
“I want to insist that we follow the safety guidelines issued on Covid-19. Even though the mandatory wearing of masks was lifted, we are getting into the cold season and the cases have started rising, so it is safer to have your mask on,” Mochache said.