In response to a refugee crisis in northern Republic of the Congo, in April-May, 2010, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), in collaboration with International Conservation and Education Fund (INCEF) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sponsored a program of intensive community education on Monkeypox recognition and prevention. Patients who are rapidly placed in isolation and provided with supportive care (including treatment for other etiologies on the differential such as yaws) are more likely to have positive outcomes and less likely to generate additional cases regardless of the ultimate laboratory diagnosis rendered. Intensive community education can lead to increased capacity for detection of rare but impactful diseases such as Monkeypox in high transmission risk settings. Education of physicians in the recognition and treatment of Monkeypox is a critically important adjunct to this activity.
Approximately 65,000 people attended the outreach sessions in 25 key locations where refugees had congregated. Among those who attended the film-based outreach sessions, there was a demonstrated improvement in individuals' knowledge of the features of Monkeypox illness and transmission. And, when asked after seeing the films, attendees expressed a heightened likelihood to notify local officials and seek health care in the event that Monkeypox is suspected in a family member. In the nine months including and immediately following the outreach, ten suspected cases of Monkeypox were reported to health authorities. In the six months immediately following the outreach, ten suspected cases of Monkeypox were reported to health authorities. Laboratory testing confirmed Monkeypox virus infection in 2 individuals, one of whom was part of a cluster of 4 suspected cases identified retrospectively.
Report Title: Detection of Human Monkeypox in the Republic of the Congo Following Intensive Community Education
Agency Sponsor: CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Federal Contact: Thomas Chapel, 404-639-2116
Record ID: 10203 (February 1, 2013)