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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Monkeypox in Congo

12 May 2017

On the 5 May 2017 WHO reporteda total of 70 cases of monkeypox including 4 deaths (case fatality rate of 5.7%) since the 1 February 2017. Children under 15 years of age are the most infected, accounting for 60% of the overall number of cases. A total of 18 villages in 5 districts (Enyelle, Betou, Dongou, Impfondo, and Owando) have been affected.

Advice for Travellers

Monkeypox virus infection is a very low risk for most travellers as it occurs most commonly in remote, rural, rainforest villages. Monkeypox is a sporadic zoonotic infection similar to modified smallpox and is transmitted by the bite of an infected animal or by handling the animal’s blood, body fluids or lesions.

Animals include monkeys, squirrels, rats, mice and rabbits. Infection can also be transmitted by close contact with an infected person via respiratory droplets. There is no specific treatment and prevention is by avoiding contact with infected animals and individuals.