Kenya heightens surveillance as monkeypox virus spreads

Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

Kenya has heightened surveillance at all entry points and remains on high alert amid an outbreak of the monkeypox virus in the world.

Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache, speaking on Tuesday in Kisii County said there is no confirmed case in the country, but the Government has put up adequate measures to fight the virus should it break.

“We have very good and robust surveillance systems in place. We have heightened our surveillance at all points of entry to make sure we can detect any case of monkeypox,” Mochache

The government also says it will employ similar measures used to respond to the Covid-19 fight to handle the disease.  

“The Government will activate the COVID-19 surveillance teams in case of an outbreak,” the PS added.

So far, there is no confirmed infection in Kenya or within the East African region.

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a mild viral infection that is endemic in parts of the west and central Africa.

It spreads mainly through close contact.

Cases of monkeypox have been reported in the USA, UK, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, France, Canada, Belgium, and Australia.

The cases were first reported in Europe and North America on May 13. 

“The virus is endemic in some animal populations in a number of countries, leading to occasional outbreaks among local people and travellers. The recent outbreaks reported across 12 countries so far are occurring in non-endemic countries,” WHO said in a statement.

In a statement, the World Health Organization (WHO0 said most people diagnosed with the virus are men who engage in intimate activities with other men.