NewsNew strain of mpox virus threatens Congo and neighbouring countries

New strain of mpox virus threatens Congo and neighbouring countries

A new, deadly strain of the mpox virus is "very concerning" - foreign media warn. Illustrative photo
A new, deadly strain of the mpox virus is "very concerning" - foreign media warn. Illustrative photo
Images source: © Getty Images

29 June 2024 07:07

A new strain of the mpox virus, spreading along the eastern border of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is "extremely concerning," reported the BBC. The virus causes death in 5% of infected adults and 10% of children. The pathogen is also responsible for miscarriages in infected women.

The mpox virus (previously known as monkeypox) causes acute viral infection symptoms such as fever, headache, and muscle aches, along with a rash resembling pustules.

The virus is sexually transmitted, but there is evidence that the new strain can also be transmitted through close skin contact. Cases of virus transmission between students at school or between a caregiver and a child have been reported.

Deadly mpox virus. Children are also dying

Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that in the year's first five months in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), nearly 8,000 infections were recorded, of which 384 cases resulted in death. Almost half of the deceased were children under 15.

Less than a month later, Dr. Cris Kacita, responsible for virus control programmes in the DRC, told the portal that more than 8,600 cases and 410 deaths had been recorded, and the virus was already present in 24 out of 26 provinces of the country.

Particular concern, highlighted by the BBC, was raised by the occurrence of cases in provinces bordering Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda.

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