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Lebanon’s Health Ministry Confirms Four Cases of Monkeypox Since June

Lebanon’s Health Ministry Confirms Four Cases of Monkeypox Since June
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By Staff, Agencies

Four monkeypox cases have been recorded in Lebanon since June, the Health Ministry reported Friday, noting that all of the cases, who are isolated at home, are male with an age average of 41.5 and a history of travel.

The Lebanese Health Ministry’s report added that there have been 20 suspected cases of monkeypox in Lebanon, of which 12 were tested at Rafic Hariri University Hospital. Four tests came back positive.

“Confirmation of one case of monkeypox, in a country, is considered an outbreak,” according to the World Health Organization.

According to the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lebanon is one of the 66 countries that have not historically reported monkeypox and that have cumulatively reported 15,605 cases, compared to 243 cases in the six countries that have historically reported monkeypox.

Lebanon’s Health Ministry has explained that monkeypox is caused by a virus that is transmitted to humans, either from animal to human – through contact with infected animals [rodents or monkeys] – or from human to human – through direct contact with skin lesions, bodily fluids, relations or indirectly through contaminated objects, especially bed sheets.

According to the CDC, symptoms of monkeypox include “fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, exhaustion and a rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus”. The symptoms could last from two to four weeks, and the case fatality ratio has been around 3–6 percent.

The ministry urged the public to remain at a safe distance from infected people, not share their personal items, avoid animals from countries where the disease is endemic, and refrain from eating bushmeat.

Lebanon detected the first monkeypox case on June 20.

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