Sub-Saharan Africa
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DR Congo Battles Mpox Outbreak in Eastern Region's Displacement Camps

© AP Photo / Jeenah MoonJynneos vaccine for mpox
Jynneos vaccine for mpox  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 11.07.2024
Since the beginning of 2023, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has witnessed 20,000 cases and more than 1,000 deaths due to mpox; the majority of them are young people. So far this year, more than 11,000 cases have been documented, with 443 deaths.
At least 25 cases of a severe new strain of mpox spreading throughout the Democratic Republic of the Congo have been identified in the eastern city of Goma, largely in camps housing people fleeing a nearby armed conflict, health officials told the Western media.
To combat the rise, the government has approved vaccinations, but none are available outside clinical trials. The national mpox response team head, Cris Kacita, told the media that most new cases were in displaced people's camps and that a new strain was developing in South Kivu. Goma, the main and largest city of North Kivu, is particularly affected.

"The national biomedical research institute in Goma has sequenced the virus, and this proves that the virus has been circulating for a long time in the city of Goma," Kacita was quoted as saying. "The risk here is the overcrowding in the camps and the speed with which the epidemic is spreading," he emphasized.

Mpox (formerly known as monkeypox) is a viral disease caused by the monkeypox virus. It is similar to, but milder than, smallpox. The disease is characterized by symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash that starts on the face and spreads to other parts of the body. Mpox can spread to humans through direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids, or rashes of infected animals, as well as through human-to-human transmission via respiratory droplets, close contact, or contaminated objects.