Monkeypox outbreak can still be contained, insists UN health agency – Reuters

The monkeypox outbreak that has been reported in 16 countries and several regions around the world can still be contained and the overall risk of transmission is low, the United Nations health agency said on Tuesday.

“What we know about this virus and these modes of transmission, this epidemic can still be contained; this is the objective of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Member States to contain and stop this outbreak,” said Dr Rosamund Lewis, head of the smallpox team, which is part of the WHO emergency programme. “The the risk for the general public therefore appears to be lowbecause we know that the main modes of transmission was as described in the past.”

The latest data from WHO member states as of May 22 indicate more than 250 confirmed and suspected cases of monkeypox from 16 countries and several WHO regions.

Symptoms can be very similar to those experienced by patients with smallpox, although they are clinically less severealthough visually dramatic, with raised pustules and fever in more severe cases lasting two to four weeks.

skin vector

According to the United Nations health agency, this Monkeypox outbreak was transmitted primarily through close skin-to-skin contact, although the virus can also be transmitted through breath droplets and contaminated bedding.

Monkeypox’s incubation period is usually six to 13 days, but can range from five to 21 days. “We don’t yet have information on whether this would be transmitted through bodily fluids,” Dr Lewis noted, before urging potentially at-risk groups to “be mindful” when in close contact. with the others.

In an effort to warn against the stigmatization of those who fall ill with the virus, the UN health agency insisted that although most cases of infection have been mainly linked to men having sex sex with men is likely because they are more proactive in seeking health advice. that others.

Disease “can affect anyone and (it) is not associated with any particular group of people,” Dr Lewis told reporters in Geneva.

Makes life for many

She pointed out that what is unusual about this outbreak is that “countries now reporting Monkeypox are countries that don’t normally have outbreaks of Monkeypox.

There are several countries in which this disease is endemic: the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Cameroon are reporting cases at the moment and there are other countries which have reported cases in the past.

Vaccine supply

Although vaccination against smallpox provided protection against monkeypox in the past, people under the age of 40 to 50 today may be more susceptible to infection with monkeypox because vaccination campaigns Vaccination against smallpox ended worldwide after the eradication of the disease in 1980.

Although WHO Member States have asked WHO to maintain stocks of smallpox vaccine in case there is a new outbreak of the disease, Dr Lewis explained that “it has been 40 years and these stocks may need to be refreshed – they definitely need to be reviewed – and the WHO has been working on that and looking at that now as well.

There are two variants of Monkeypox virus: West Africa and Congo Basin (Central Africa). The first human case was identified in a child in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1970 and although the name Monkeypox comes from the discovery of the virus in monkeys in a Danish laboratory in 1958, it is a bit misleading, explained Dr Lewis .

Most Animals Susceptible to Monkeypox Are Actually Rodents, Gambian giant rats, dormice, prairie dogs; these are the types of animals from which there can be a spillover – a zoonotic spillover – from animals to people who can enter the forest, or who can come into contact with the virus through a zoonotic route.

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