A monkeypox outbreak in northeastern DR Congo has killed 22 people and infected 220 more since January, the health ministry said Wednesday.
The Tshuapa district in the Equateur province is the epicentre, according to a government epidemic survey.
Local health authorities are tending the sick with the backing of the UN World Health Organisation. Officials from the US Centers for Disease Control visited the area last week and trained some of them.
The first symptoms of monkeypox are aches, pains and a fever. A bumpy localised rash then appears on any part of the skin. This lesion gradually falls off.
This highly contagious disease usually strikes in remote rural areas surrounded by rainforests although the chances of catching it are very slim, according to experts.
As well as monkeys, African squirrels are among the main carriers of this lethal virus, which was first discovered by scientists in the DR Congo in 1970.