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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Monkeypox: WHO raises alarm about another contiguous disease

92 confirmed and 28 suspected cases detected in 12 counties says the World Health Organization

According to the WHO, the human to human transmission is happening in a result of close physical contact with those who are symptomatic. “What seems to be happening now is that it has got into the population as a sexual form, as a genital form, and is being spread as are sexually transmitted infections, which has amplified its transmission around the world,” said WHO official David Heymann, an infectious disease specialist.

Various monkey cases have been reported or suspected in the United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain, the United States and Canada recently.

What is Monkeypox disease?

Monkeypox is a usually mild virus that causes a fever as well as a distinctive bumpy rash. There are two main strains: the Congo strain, which is more severe – with up to 10 percent mortality – and the West African strain, which has a fatality rate of 1 percent of cases. The UK infections have been reported as the West African strain.

How the Disease transmits

Human-to-human transmission of the monkeypox occurs by contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets, and contaminated materials such as bedding. Eating inadequately cooked meat and other products of infected animals is also a possible risk factor, the WHO says.

Read more: WHO emergency meeting on monkeypox outbreak: What does it mean?

The UK Health Security Agency revealed that the recently reported cases are predominantly among men who self-identified as gay or bisexual and advised caution.

“We are seeing transmission among men having sex with men,” said WHO Assistant Director-General Dr Soce Fall.

How to protect yourself from the disease?

As it is spread by close contact so it can be relatively easily contained through such measures as self-isolation and hygiene. People usually recover within two to four weeks without needing to be hospitalized, but the disease is occasionally deadly. As per the WHO experts, close contact is the key transmission route, as lesions typical of the disease are very infectious. For example, parents caring for sick children are at risk, as are health workers, which is why some countries have started inoculating teams treating monkeypox patients using vaccines for smallpox, a related virus.

UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) chief medical adviser Susan Hopkins said that the outbreak was concentrated in urban areas, among gay or bisexual men. “The risk of the general population remains extremely low at the moment, and I think people need to be alert to it,” she said, adding for most adults’ symptoms would be “relatively mild” he added.