What Is Monkeypox and Why the Outbreak Has Become a Concern - Newslibre

What Is Monkeypox and Why the Outbreak Has Become a Concern

The Monkeypox outbreak is becoming another global concern with some stating that if not handled well, it could be the next coronavirus pandemic. The outbreak of the disease in some European countries is the latest concern among countries due to its ability to spread quickly.

Monkeypox is a viral infection that has in the past been spotted in West and Central Africa. By the weekend, about 100 cases had been confirmed or suspected in Europe. As a result, the disease is one of the most searched topics on Google.

A statement by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates scientists are investigating the outbreak, adding more cases are likely to be reported as surveillance expands. A top European health official Hans Kluge warns that cases of the rare monkeypox virus could accelerate in the coming months.

WHO also stated that the recent outbreaks reported across the US, UK, Australia, and several European countries are atypical as they are occurring in non-endemic countries.

“There are about 80 confirmed cases so far, and 50 pending investigations. More cases are likely to be reported as surveillance expands,” WHO noted.

The Monkeypox illness usually causes symptoms of fever, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes. Chickenpox-like rashes are also found on the hands and face. According to WHO, the transmission usually happens due to close contact with infected animals such as rodents and monkeys and is limited between people.

As per US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, anyone can spread monkeypox through contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, or shared items (such as clothing and bedding) that have been contaminated with fluids or sores of a person with monkeypox.

The US health body added that household disinfectants can kill the virus on surfaces. Monkeypox has only been fatal in rare cases. Health experts have advised anyone at high risk of having caught the virus to isolate for 21 days.

Contacts are also advised to provide their details for contact tracing, forgo travel, and avoid contact with immunosuppressed people, pregnant women, and children under 12.

WHO View On Monkeypox outbreak

Since 13 May 2022, cases of monkeypox have been reported to WHO from 12 Member States that are not endemic for the monkeypox virus, across three WHO regions. Epidemiological investigations are ongoing, however, reported cases thus far have no established travel links to endemic areas.

Based on currently available information, cases have mainly but not exclusively been identified amongst men who have sex with men (MSM) seeking care in primary care and sexual health clinics. The objective of this Disease Outbreak News is to raise awareness, inform readiness and response efforts, and provide technical guidance for immediate recommended actions.

The situation is evolving and WHO expects there will be more cases of monkeypox identified as surveillance expands in non-endemic countries. Immediate actions focus on informing those who may be most at risk for monkeypox infection with accurate information, in order to stop further spread.

Currently, available evidence suggests that those who are most at risk are those who have had close physical contact with someone with monkeypox, while they are symptomatic. WHO is also working to provide guidance to protect frontline health care providers and other health workers who may be at risk such as cleaners. WHO will be providing more technical recommendations in the coming days.

The virus was first discovered in 1958 when outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in monkeys kept for research. The first human case was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and since then the infection has been reported in a number of central and western African countries. Most cases are reported from the DRC and Nigeria.

 

Source: Nairobi News

 

Also, read: 3 Steps On How Africa Can Combat Climate Change

What Is Monkeypox and Why the Outbreak Has Become a Concern 1

Author: Allan Bangirana

Allan Bangirana has a taste for all kinds of topics and usually writes about tech, entertainment, sports and community projects that make a difference in society.

He writes for Newslibre and Spur Magazine. He is also the co-founder of the Innovware project and a freelance consultant passionate about technology and web.

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