Institutions

Monkeypox in Central African Republic: Time for Prevention

Emmanuel Nakouné (left), head of the national research and survey units at the Institut Pasteur de Bangui, wellcomed Camille Besombe, of the Institut Pasteur from Paris (right). ©Institut Pasteur de Bangui

The Pasteur Institutes of Bangui and Paris plan to combine their skills to describe the epidemiology of Monkeypox in the Central African Republic.

Monkeypox is a viral disease whose signs are reminiscent of historical smallpox (pustular rash, fever, sometimes leading to death in 1 to 10% of cases). In the Central African Republic, Monkeypox epidemics are recurrent in some parts of the country where the virus is endemic.

The virus reservoir in wildlife is not formally identified and very little data is available on the modes of contamination in the Central African Republic. In recent years, the Institut Pasteur in Bangui has made Monkeypox one of its priority research themes.

Basis for a research programme

In this context, the specialist in infectious and tropical diseases, Dr Camille Besombes of the Institut Pasteur in Paris, was on an exploratory mission to Bangui from 2 to 9 October 2018 to define the foundations of an ambitious research project. This work will involve the teams of the Pasteur Institute in Bangui and the research and expertise unit in epidemiology of emerging diseases at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. It aims to improve knowledge of the local epidemiology of Monkeypox through a multidisciplinary approach: clinical, epidemiological, anthropological, environmental and microbiological.

During her mission, Dr Besombes visited the Lobaye region, the epicentre of the disease in CAR. She was able to observe the procedures for handling a warning, particularly with regard to the logistics of biological samples from symptomatic patients to the Laboratory of arboviruses, viral haemorrhagic fevers, emerging viruses and zoonoses at the Institut Pasteur in Bangui.

This text has first been published by the Institut Pasteur de Bangui. It has been translated in French by Afriscitech.com.

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