Zombo on High alert  as Mpox virus soars in DR Congo 

Zombo District leaders  in conjunction with health ministry officials  have  reactivated its  task force as  new strain of Mpox virus continue to spread rapidly along the eastern border of DR Congo.

Mpox is an infectious disease caused by monkey pox virus.

Many cases of the virus is reported to have been confirmed by the Congolese authorities in the nearby Mahagi territory, In Ituri Province.

Zombo  resident district Commissioner Grace Atim says the task force team  was reinstituted with guidance from ministry of  health’s officials on Friday last week to  avert spill over of any possible cases.

“We are happy as Zombo District because they have reactivated the district task force because after COVID-19, we relaxed. We have realized that we are sitting on a time bomb because we are hearing reports of plague in DR Congo yet we have so many refugees who move on daily basis between Uganda and Congo” Atim expressed.

She added ” We have seen that it is important to have a screening center through the District Health Officer. We have also sent out request to health ministry to talk to authorities at the border points to avail us land where we can place tents for screening”.

Zombo that it’s border with DR Congo stretches  over 80 Killometres  ,  has a numerous porous border points thus exacerbating  free movement of people between the either states. This makes it hard for leaders to regulate  movement of these locals most of whom share the same tradition and language.

In settings where the monkeypox virus is present among some wild animals, it can also be transmitted from infected animals to people who have contact with them according to the world health organization.

Mpox virus is spread through body to body contact and due to poor access to vaccines and treatment in DR Congo, local health experts are warning the virus could reach other countries.

However  the LCV chairperson Zombo James Oruna Oyullu  stated that  ” I appeal  for vigilance amongst our people and I call upon our health experts to be on high alert”.

Due to  the Mpox  virus rapid spread in the restive eastern DR Congo marred by string of rebel insurgencies, deep throat sources  said an emergency meeting is to be convened in Gulu city by ministry of health for all leaders from Ugandan Districts that borders DR Congo.

Common symptoms of mpox include a rash which may last for 2–4 weeks. This may start with, or be followed by, fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy and swollen glands.

As of may this year, about 7000 Mpox cases were reported in DR Congo including 384 deaths according to world health organization.

Commissioner Zombo Grace Atim.