CAIRO – 26 May 2022: Acting health minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar reviewed on Wednesday a report concerning the monkeypox disease. This came during a cabinet meeting that was headed by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli.
The minister said that the ministry is following up the monkeypox worldwide and that Egypt has no monkeypox cases so far. The number of monkeypox cases mounted to 250 cases worldwide, he added.
He added that the ministry is ready to face such a virus and is working to get vaccines and medications to treat it.
The vaccination was demonstrated to be about 85% effective in preventing monkeypox, he further said.
The monkeypox virus is very similar to smallpox, but the former is less fatal and contagious, the Health and Population Ministry said.
In a statement on its official Facebook page on Saturday evening, the ministry stressed that the monkeypox virus is spread through close body contact, not over long distances through the air.
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 ministry added, noting that the virus is endemic in Central and West Africa, and is seldom detected outside of these regions.
The ministry indicated that its symptoms include fever and skin rash.
Egypt has no infected or suspected cases of monkeypox so far, announced the Ministry of Health.
Spokesperson for the ministry, Hossam Abdel Ghaffar, said that the ministry is closely following up on the global epidemiological situation.
He also revealed the ministry’s measures to prevent monkeypox infection, as he warned citizens against touching any sick or found dead animal bodies, where the disease is located.
The ministry highlighted the importance of hand hygiene and the use of personal protective tools like face masks and hand sterilization.
Dr. Ahmed Salman, Professor of Immunology and Vaccine Development at Oxford University, said that the symptoms of monkeypox are similar to the symptoms of ordinary smallpox, as they begin with a rise in temperature and general cracking in the body, while there are blisters and pus all over the body.
Dr. Salman added, in a telephone interview with Egypt Can TV program, that monkeypox causes humans swollen lymph nodes and pimples appear on the face significantly.
Doctors can differential between normal smallpox and monkeypox through specific medical tests.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working closely with countries where cases of the rare viral disease monkeypox have been reported, the UN agency said on Friday.
WHO said in a statement that there were around 80 cases confirmed so far, across 11 countries, with a further 50 cases pending investigation.
It said it was “working with the affected countries and others to expand disease surveillance to find and support people who may be affected, and to provide guidance on how to manage the disease.”
The UN health agency stressed that monkeypox spreads differently from COVID-19, encouraging all people “to stay informed from reliable sources, such as national health authorities” on the extent of any outbreak in their own communities.
WHO said in an earlier news release at least eight countries are affected in Europe – Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Hans Kluge, Europe Regional Director for the UN agency said that most of the cases are so far mild.
“Monkeypox is usually a self-limiting illness, and most of those infected will recover within a few weeks without treatment,” said Kluge.
Monkeypox can be transmitted from one person to another by coming into contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials.