Health officials said on Monday that Sudan has discovered its first case of monkeypox since the World Health Organization last month designated the illness as a public health emergency of global concern.
The West Darfur state of Sudan’s health ministry reported “registering the first confirmed case of monkeypox in a 16-year-old student.”
Director of epidemic control Montaser Othman stated that although there had been an additional 38 “suspected cases,” no one had tested positive for the virus.
The federal and state health ministries were conducting an inquiry to identify the infection’s origin, he added. Due to its subpar public health systems, the impoverished country of northeast Africa is particularly vulnerable.
Only 70% of Sudan’s 45 million people, according to UNICEF, have “access to a health facility within 30 minutes travel of their home.” In 2021, 13 of Sudan’s 18 states saw outbreaks of vector-borne illnesses.
The epidemic was deemed a public health emergency of worldwide concern by the WHO last month, the highest alert it can issue.