WHO says monkeypox has spread unnoticed around the world
The WHO said on Wednesday that confirmed cases of monkeypox passed 550 in more than 30 countries.
The World Health Organization (WHO) turned on the red light regarding the monkey pox. The institution said on Wednesday, 1st, that more than 550 cases of the disease were confirmed in more than 30 countries.
WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the sudden appearance of the disease in so many countries indicates that the virus has been circulating undetected around the world for some time now. — outside the African countries where, until then, monkeypox was more common.
“We don’t really know if it’s too late to contain it,” he told a news conference in Geneva. “What the WHO and all member states are trying to do is prevent further spread.”
No official cases have yet been found. monkey pox in Brazil, but there are suspects whose situation is being analyzed by the authorities. Countries in the region such as Argentina and Mexico have already confirmed infected.
One of the main strategies has been isolating infected patients and tracking people they have come into contact with. The WHO director also called on countries to intensify surveillance strategies to detect new cases among the general population.
Monkeypox has symptoms that disappear after some time, but there are serious cases recorded. Still, no deaths have been detected so far in North America and Europe.
One concern is how the disease will behave if it hits more vulnerable groups, such as women and children, en masse, said WHO technician Maria Van Kerkhove, who has also worked on the Covid-19 response.
The human-to-human transmission identified so far is small, although authorities still lack more information.
Most cases to date have been found in adult men who have had sex with other men, but Adhanom says all people are susceptible and governments must work to avoid stigma against a specific group.
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox, or simian orthopoxvirosisis a rare disease whose pathogen can be transmitted from animals to humans and vice versa.
Its symptoms are similar, to a lesser extent, to those seen in old smallpox patients: fever, headache, muscle and back pain during the first five days.
Then there are rashes—on the face, palms, and soles of the feet—, lesions, pustules, and finally crusts.
The disease was first identified in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in a 9-year-old boy who lived in a region where smallpox had been eradicated since 1968.
Since 1970, human cases of “orthopoxvirosis simia” have been recorded in ten African countries. In early 2003, cases were also confirmed in the United States, the first outside the African continent.
How is monkeypox transmitted?
Infection in early cases is due to direct contact with blood, body fluids, lesions on the skin or mucous membranes of infected animals.
Secondary, person-to-person transmission can result from close contact with infected secretions from the airways, skin lesions of an infected person, or objects recently contaminated with biological fluids or material from a patient’s wounds.
“It is probably too early to draw conclusions about the mode of transmission or to assume that sexual activity is necessary for transmission,” Michael Skinner, a virologist at Imperial College London, Science Center (SMC), said in a previous interview with AFP.
“Monkey pox” usually heals on its own, with symptoms lasting anywhere from 14 to 21 days.
Analyzing the epidemics, the mortality rate showed great variation, but remained below 10%. The West African strain, the same strain that affects British cases, is estimated to have a fatality rate of around 1%.