As the world continues to struggle with the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19), global concerns have been raised about an increase in rare monkeypox infections in various parts of the globe.
Cases of the Monkeypox virus, which started in the United Kingdom, have now been confirmed in more than 12 countries.
The recent outbreaks, according to the WHO, “are atypical, as they are occurring in non-endemic countries.” “Around 80 cases have been confirmed so far, with another 50 under investigation.” As surveillance expands, more cases are likely to be reported,” it stated.
However, on Friday, May 20, the World Health Organization (WHO) held an emergency meeting to discuss the recent monkeypox outbreak. The Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on Infectious Hazards with Pandemic and Epidemic Potential (STAG-IH), which advices on infection risks that could pose a global health threat, is meeting to discuss the issue.
As of May 21, the WHO received reports of 92 laboratory-confirmed monkeypox cases and 28 suspected cases from 12 countries where the disease is not endemic.
As per a statement released on May 20, WHO cites the recent outbreaks reported across the globe:
Monkeypox is a zoonosis disease that is transmitted from animals to humans. It is caused by an orthopoxvirus that causes symptoms that are similar to smallpox but are less severe.
Dr. Vikrant Shah, consulting physician, intensivist, and infectious disease specialist, Zen Multispeciality Hospital Chembur said:
“Monkeypox virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae. It was discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in lab monkeys that were kept for research, from which the name has originated.”
While smallpox was eradicated in 1980, monkeypox continues to occur in countries of Central and West Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
Cases are frequently found “close to tropical rainforests where there are animals that carry the virus,” according to WHO’s website. It states that evidence of monkeypox virus infection has been found in animals such as squirrels, Gambian poached rats, dormice, various monkey species, and others.
It is transmitted through contact with bodily fluids, lesions on the skin or on internal mucosal surfaces, such as in the mouth or throat, respiratory droplets, and contaminated objects, the organization added.
Monkeypox is characterized by fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates. Monkeypox takes 7-14 days to incubate (from infection to symptoms), but it can take anywhere from 5 to 21 days.
Read it here: Who.int