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What is monkeypox and how widespread is it?


In recent days, health officials in Europe, North America, Israel, and Australia have detected over 100 cases of monkeypox.

Officials throughout the world are on the lookout for more cases since the rare disease appears to be spreading among people who haven't traveled to Africa, where monkeypox is endemic, for the first time. They emphasize, however, that the risk to the general public is minimal.


WHAT EXACTLY IS MONKEYPOX?

Monkeypox is a virus that spreads from wild animals such as rats and primates to humans on rare occasions. It is a member of the smallpox virus family.

The majority of human infections have occurred in Central and West Africa, with outbreaks being very rare.

Scientists discovered the sickness in 1958 after two outbreaks of a "pox-like" disease in laboratory monkeys — hence the term monkeypox. In 1970, a little boy in a rural section of Congo became the first known human infection.

 

WHAT HAS CAUSED THIS RECENT OUTBURST?

Although health experts are still investigating, a top WHO adviser said this week that the leading belief is that monkeypox was spread following sexual activity at two recent raves in Europe.

Monkeypox may spread when people are in intimate touch with someone who has the disease, according to Dr. David Heymann, who leads WHO's expert advisory committee on infectious risks, and "it appears that sexual contact has now enhanced that transmission."

The majority of reported cases in Europe have been among males who have sex with men, according to authorities in countries such as the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, and Portugal, but experts stress that anybody can become infected through close touch with a sick person, their clothing, or bedsheets.

According to scientists, determining whether the spread is caused by sex or simply close contact would be tough.


WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS AND HOW DO YOU GET RID OF THEM?

Fever, body pains, chills, and weariness are the most common symptoms of monkeypox. A rash and lesions on the face and hands in those with more serious illnesses can spread to other parts of the body.

Monkeypox can be fatal in up to 6% of cases and is known to be more severe in youngsters. Most people recover in two to four weeks without needing to be hospitalized.

Monkeypox is resistant to smallpox immunizations, and antiviral medications are being developed.

All suspected cases should be isolated, and high-risk contacts should be administered a smallpox vaccine, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. The United Kingdom is offering the smallpox vaccine to high-risk contacts and advising anyone who may have been affected to isolate themselves until they recover.

Officials stated the US government had 1,000 doses of a vaccine authorized for the prevention of monkeypox and smallpox, as well as more than 100 million doses of an older-generation smallpox vaccine in storage.

 

HOW DANGEROUS IS THIS BREAK?

Any epidemic of a new virus is alarming, but the majority of the cases have been minor, and no deaths have been reported.

Monkeypox also requires close touch to spread, thus it is unlikely to cause large outbreaks like COVID-19, which can be transferred via the air by people who have no symptoms.

 

HOW MANY MONKEYPOX CASES ARE COMMONLY SEEN?

Every year, the World Health Organization estimates that thousands of people in around a dozen African nations contract monkeypox. The majority of cases are reported in Congo, which has around 6,000 cases per year, and Nigeria, which has about 3,000 cases per year.

Monkeypox has been found in isolated cases outside of Africa in the past, notably in the United States and the United Kingdom. Travel to Africa or interaction with animals from places where the disease is more prevalent were the most common causes of cases.


 

 

 

Content created and supplied by: PenRec (via Opera News )

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