Outbreak of monkeypox ‘conceivable’, WHO says confirmed cases reach 131

Cases of monkeypox are being investigated in Europe, the United States, Canada and Australia following the recent rise in infections.

Japayona delita | Future Publications | Getty Images

The World Health Organization said Tuesday that the recent outbreak of monkeypox in non-native countries is “conceivable”, although it continues to confuse health experts.

As of Tuesday, there had been 131 confirmed and 106 suspected cases of the disease since the first report on May 7, according to the public health agency. The incidents were reported in 19 countries outside Africa.

The WHO says it is unclear whether the lawsuit spike is “the tip of the iceberg” or whether it has reached the peak of infection.

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection endemic to Central and West Africa. It is spread by close contact with infected people, animals or organisms, including symptoms such as rash, fever, headache, muscle aches, swelling and back pain.

Although mild in most cases, usually resolved within two to four weeks, health experts are confused by the recent spike in patients who have no history of the disease and who do not have travel links with local countries.

Increases in the western case, primarily through sex

Cases have so far been reported in at least 19 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Belgium – which currently has four cases – became the first country to impose mandatory isolation for patients on Friday, with the United Kingdom calling for the sale-disconnection of patients’ close contact.

The WHO said on Monday that in most cases it is spread through sex. Although not generally considered a sexually transmitted disease, health authorities have noticed a special concentration in men who have sex with other men.

A portion of the skin tissue, collected from a wound on the skin of a monkey infected with the monkeypox virus, was found in 1968 on the fourth day of the rash development, an increase of 50X.

CDC | Reuters

On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned homosexual and bisexual men if they were in close contact with anyone who could be infected with the virus and were on the lookout for symptoms.

“A significant proportion of recent cases have been found in gay and bisexual men in the UK and Europe, so we are particularly encouraged to be wary of these men’s symptoms,” added Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser at the UK’s health protection agency. .

Monkeypox strain mutations are unlikely

Sylvie Brand, director of the WHO’s Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness, said Tuesday that the virus is unlikely to change. Rather, he said, its transmission could be driven by changes in human behavior, particularly as a result of easing social restrictions.

The West African strain of monkeypox – which has been identified as the current outbreak – has a mortality rate of about 1%.

“We encourage all of you to keep an eye on MonkeyPix to see where the level of infection is and to understand where it is going,” Brand added.

Jeremy Farar, director of the global health charity Welcome, told CNBC on Monday that the recent outbreak was typical of the monkeypox virus.

“It simply came to our notice then [monkeypox] The epidemic has spread to 15 countries in the past three weeks, “Farrar told the World Economic Forum.

However, he added that this should not be a cause for concern for the general public, noting that it is still not a “covid-style risk”.

“It’s not to say that public health people should be concerned. It’s not to say that we shouldn’t act fast. But is it a huge risk to the public? No, I don’t believe it is today.”

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