By Bertha Chirwa – Blantyre
The Ministry of Health has said preliminary investigations on the suspected case of monkey pox from Chiradzulu has confirmed that the patient did not have monkey pox indicating that Malawi so far has no cases of the diseases as earlier feared.
Recently, Chiradzulu District health officials reported of a male patient who showed symptoms associated with monkey pox and collected samples which were later sent to Lilongwe Central Medical Laboratory for further investigation.
In a statement signed by the Secretary for Health Dr Charles Mwansambo, the Ministry said that the preliminary investigations have shown that it is not a monkey pox case but disseminated varicella disease.
“Using the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR), the ministry immediately started investigating the case including getting a specialist opinion from Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital which is indicating that it is not a case of monkey pox but disseminated varicella disease which affects the skin, brain, liver and lungs (encephalitis, hepatitis and pneumonitis) and is caused by varicella virus, the virus that causes chicken pox and shingles,” reads the statement.
The statement adds that “the patient had not travelled outside the country and neither had he been in contact with any known case of monkey pox”.
However through the public health reference laboratory at the Community Health Sciences Unit (CHSU) in Lilongwe, the ministry will proceed to process samples from the case to guide the definitive diagnosis”.
Since few days ago media has been awash with some people peddling lies that Malawi has monkey pox, all being done to bring tension in the country.