COLOMBO (News 1st) – Sri Lanka's health ministry reported the first case of monkey pox in the country.Sources said the patient had returned from abroad, and was directed to medical treatment.What is Monkeypox?Monkeypox is a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although it is clinically less severe. With the eradication of smallpox in 1980 and subsequent cessation of smallpox vaccination, monkeypox has emerged as the most important orthopoxvirus for public health.
Monkeypox primarily occurs in central and west Africa, often in proximity to tropical rainforests, and has been increasingly appearing in urban areas. Animal hosts include a range of rodents and non-human primates.Outbreaks: Human monkeypox was first identified in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in a 9-month-old boy in a region where smallpox had been eliminated in 1968.
Since then, most cases have been reported from rural, rainforest regions of the Congo Basin, particularly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and human cases have increasingly been reported from across central and west Africa.Since 1970, human cases of monkeypox have been reported in 11 African countries: Benin, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Nigeria, the Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone and South Sudan. The true burden of monkeypox is not known.
For example, in 1996–97, an outbreak was reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with a lower case fatality ratio and a higher attack rate than usual. A concurrent outbreak of chickenpox (caused by the varicella virus, which is not an
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