The Preventive Medicine Department at the Ministry of Public Health on Monday responded in a statement to rumors being circulated about the presence of suspected monkeypox cases in Lebanon, affirming that there are no confirmed or suspected cases of this disease in the country to date.
“Any case will be officially announced by the Ministry of Public Health if confirmed,” the statement added.
Monkeypox virus is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with pests, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding.
The incubation period of monkeypox is usually from 6 to 13 days but can range from 5 to 21 days.
Various animal species have been identified as susceptible to the monkeypox virus. Uncertainty remains on the natural history of the monkeypox virus and further studies are needed to identify the exact reservoir(s) and how virus circulation is maintained in nature. Eating inadequately cooked meat and other animal products of infected animals is a possible risk factor.
In humans, the symptoms of monkeypox are similar to but milder than the symptoms of smallpox. Monkeypox begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion. The main difference between symptoms of smallpox and monkeypox is that monkeypox causes lymph nodes to swell (lymphadenopathy) while smallpox does not. The incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) for monkeypox is usually 7−14 days but can range from 5−21 days.
The illness begins with:
* Muscle aches
* Swollen lymph nodes
Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body.
Lesions progress through the following stages before falling off:
The illness typically lasts for 2−4 weeks. In Africa, monkeypox has been shown to cause death in as many as 1 in 10 persons who contract the disease.
The Ministry of Public Health finally called on the media, citizens, and health workers to “be careful and cautious in the circulation and dissemination of health-related information and to avoid spreading rumors.”