Has Uganda Detected a Case of Monkeypox?

This post shared on Instagram claims that Uganda recorded its first case of Monkeypox. Similar claims were also shared on Twitter.

Background

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Monkeypox is a viral zoonosis, a disease that is transmissible from animals to humans. It manifests itself in rashes, swollen lymph nodes, fever and incessant intense headaches: Symptoms similar to those seen in smallpox, although clinically less severe in monkeypox. 

The disease was first detected in humans in 1970 in the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo). 

Prior to the outbreak, the world has been witnessing since the beginning of May 2022, the disease was only detected in Central and West African countries. Present infections in Europe and North America are unprecedented, an occurrence the WHO describes as ‘atypical’. As of June 8, 2022, over  1,000 cases were confirmed from 29 countries that are not endemic according to WHO.

The WHO fact sheet also states that the smallpox vaccine is 85% effective against monkeypox. Inoculated populations, therefore, experience milder illnesses after contracting Monkeypox. 

Verification

Despite sharing a border with DRC, Uganda has never detected a case of Monkeypox as of the date this article goes to publish. But the country is on high alert, as the commissioner for epidemiology and surveillance at the Ugandan Ministry of Health Dr. Allan Muruta told the Daily Monitor.

The Ministry of Health-Uganda has not issued a statement confirming the claim, nor has any reliable news source in the country. African countries have instead ramped up surveillance and screening on borders they share with endemic countries. 

Verdict

Claims that Uganda has detected a case of Monkeypox are FALSE.

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Thomas Mukhwana

Thomas Mukhwana is a broadcast journalist and fact-checker. He is passionate about storytelling, sustainable development and policy in the African context.