The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has confirmed five cases of the Monkey Pox viral disease.

The Director-General of the Service, Dr. Patrick Kuma Aboagye, disclosed that the cases were recorded in three regions—Eastern, Western, and Greater Accra.

He said a total of 12 suspected cases have been investigated since May 24, 2022. No death has been recorded among the cases, neither is anyone in a critical condition.

According to Dr. Kuma Aboagye, one of the cases has been recorded in a Ghanaian who traveled to the United States of America from Ghana.

He added that Ghana has the capability to test for Monkeypox.

“No death has occurred among the cases. There is clearly no treatment for Monkeypox. Fortunately, most cases are mild. We have currently started contact tracing and follow-up of all confirmed cases. We have the capability to test for Monkeypox. This can be done at Noguchi, the National Public Reference lab, and Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research. Nobody is critically ill. We will continue our surveillance to ensure that all cases are identified and isolated.”

Monkeypox is a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although it is clinically less severe.

With the eradication of smallpox in 1980 and subsequent cessation of smallpox vaccination, monkeypox has emerged as the most important orthopoxvirus for public health.

An ongoing outbreak of monkeypox was confirmed in May 2022, beginning with a cluster of cases found in the United Kingdom.

The first recognised case was confirmed on 6 May 2022 in an individual with travel links to Nigeria, but it has been suggested that cases were already spreading in Europe in the previous months.

Monkeypox primarily occurs in central and west Africa, often in proximity to tropical rainforests, and has been increasingly appearing in urban areas. Animal hosts include a range of rodents and non-human primates.


Key facts

  • Vaccines used during the smallpox eradication programme also provided protection against monkeypox. Newer vaccines have been developed of which one has been approved for prevention of monkeypox.
  • Monkeypox is caused by monkeypox virus, a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae.
  • Monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease with the symptoms lasting from 2 to 4 weeks. Severe cases can occur. In recent times, the case fatality ratio has been around 3–6%.
  • Monkeypox is transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, or with material contaminated with the virus.
  • Monkeypox virus is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding.
  • Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease that occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of central and west Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions.
  • An antiviral agent developed for the treatment of smallpox has also been licensed for the treatment of monkeypox.
  • The clinical presentation of monkeypox resembles that of smallpox, a related orthopoxvirus infection which was declared eradicated worldwide in 1980. Monkeypox is less contagious than smallpox and causes less severe illness.
  • Monkeypox typically presents clinically with fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes and may lead to a range of medical complications.