National Services Scotland logo

Fit for Travel Logo

Information on how to stay safe and healthy abroad. About us.

Monkeypox in the Central African Republic

26 Mar 2018

On 17 March the World Health Organisation reported (via Twitter) Link 8 cases of monkeypox in the Central African Republic. All cases are in the Sub-Prefecture of Ippy.

Advice to Travellers

Monkeypox is a rare infection related to smallpox. It resembles the less severe variola minor form of smallpox and has the potential to be fatal in a minority of cases. Monkeypox is unusual in travellers and tends to occur in isolated rural or forest areas.

Nearly all cases have occurred in Central or West Africa, with only a few cases ever reported outside Africa. Most infections result from direct contact with the blood, body fluids, or cutaneous/ mucosal lesions of infected animals including monkeys, giant rats, squirrels and rabbits. Rodents are the major source of infection. Eating undercooked meat of infected animals is a possible risk factor.