MONROVIA, April 10 (Xinhua) -- Liberian health authorities on Tuesday issued an alert on the possible outbreak of monkeypox, an infectious disease which is found mostly in central and western Africa.
Liberia's chief medical officer Francis Kateh said the disease, caused by the monkeypox virus, has already been discovered in the southern county of River Cess.
Kateh said there are currently four confirmed cases of the disease. A couple of suspected cases have also been sent for testing.
According to the health official, the time from exposure to the onset of symptoms of monkeypox is around 10 days, while the duration of symptoms is typically from two to five weeks.
He said the virus may be spread from handling bushmeat, an animal bite or scratch, body fluids, contaminated objects or close contact with an infected person.
The monkeypox was first identified in 1958, amongst laboratory monkeys. The first human cases were discovered in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Fever, itchy toes, headache, muscle pain, and swollen lymph nodes, among others, have been identified as the symptoms of the disease.
The disease is not deadly and can be cured through the smallpox vaccine.
Last year, west African country Nigeria recorded 172 suspected and 61 confirmed cases of the monkeypox disease between September and December.