World (The Times Groupe)- At least 12 countries around the world have confirmed 80 cases of Monkeypox.
World Health Organization (WHO) says it is investigating another 50 suspected cases – without naming any countries – and has warned that more cases are likely to be reported.
A total of nine European countries, as well as the United States, Canada and Australia, have been confirmed as having been infected.
Most Monkeypox cases are found in remote areas of Central and West Africa.
The UK’s National Health Service describes it as a mild viral infection that most people recover from in a few weeks.
The virus does not easily spread between people, and the risk to the general public is very low.
Monkeypox does not have a specific vaccine yet, but a smallpox vaccination can offer 85% protection since the two viruses are very similar.
European public health agencies have confirmed cases in the UK, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Italy, and Sweden so far.
WHO stated on Friday that the recent outbreaks “are atypical, as they are occurring in non-endemic countries”.
It stated that it was “working with the affected countries and others to expand disease surveillance in order to monitor and support people who are at risk”.
The reason for this unusual outbreak is still unknown.
Although there is little evidence showing this is a new strain, there is a possibility that the virus has changed in some way.
The virus may also have thrived because it was in the right place at the right time.
Additionally, monkeypox may spread more easily than it did in the past, when smallpox vaccines were widely used.
Hans Kluge, WHO’s regional director for Europe, warned that “as we move into summer… with mass gatherings and parties, I am concerned transmission could increase”.
Except for one case, none of the recent cases had relevant travel history to Monkeypox-endemic areas.
It was reported on 7 May that the first case had occurred in the UK. UK Health Security Agency says the patient visited Nigeria recently, where they picked up the virus before traveling to England.
According to Health Secretary Sajid Javid, there are now 20 confirmed cases in the UK.
Smallpox vaccine was bought and started being offered to people with “higher levels of exposure” to Monkeypox in the UK.
Spain’s health authorities are also reportedly purchasing thousands of smallpox vaccines to deal with outbreaks, according to Spanish newspaper El País.
According to the Victorian Department of Health, the first case in Australia was recently detected in a traveler from the UK.
Massachusetts health authorities confirmed that a man has been infected after traveling to Canada recently. According to officials, he was in “good condition” and posed no risk to the public.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Transmission of Monkeypox virus occurs when a person comes into contact with the virus from an animal, human, or materials contaminated with the virus. The virus enters the body through broken skin (even if not visible), respiratory tract, or the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth). Animal-to-human transmission may occur by bite or scratch, bush meat preparation, direct contact with body fluids or lesion material, or indirect contact with lesion material, such as through contaminated bedding. Human-to-human transmission is thought to occur primarily through large respiratory droplets. Respiratory droplets generally cannot travel more than a few feet, so prolonged face-to-face contact is required. Other human-to-human methods of transmission include direct contact with body fluids or lesion material, and indirect contact with lesion material, such as through contaminated clothing or linens.”