The World Health Organization says it expects to detect more cases of monkeypox as it increases surveillance in countries where the disease is not commonly found.
As of Saturday, 92 confirmed cases from 28 member states and 28 suspected cases of monkeypox have been reported that are not localized to the virus, the UN agency said, adding that it would provide more guidelines and recommendations for countries in the coming days on how to mitigate it. The spread of monkeypox.
“The available data indicate that the virus is transmitted from person to person in people with close physical contact who have symptoms,” the agency added.
Monkeypox is an infectious disease that is usually mild and endemic in some parts of West and Central Africa. It is spread through close contact, so it can be captured relatively easily through systems such as self-isolation and hygiene.
“What seems to be happening now is that it came into the population as a sexual form, the size of a genitalia, and it spread as a sexually transmitted infection, which has increased its spread around the world,” said David Heyman, an infectious disease specialist at WHO. Told Reuters.
Heyman said an international committee of experts had met via video conference to find out what needs to be studied about the outbreak and how to communicate with the public, whether there is an asymptomatic spread, who is most at risk and the different routes of infection.
He said the meeting was called “because of the urgency of the situation.” The committee is not a party that would recommend declaring a public health emergency of international concern, the WHO’s highest alert, which applies to the COVID-19 epidemic.
He said that close contact is the main route of transmission, as common lesions of the disease are highly contagious. Parents caring for sick children, such as health workers, are at risk, which is why some countries have begun vaccinating monkeypox patients using smallpox, a related virus vaccine.
Sexual health clinics have been identified in many cases at present.
Early genomic sequencing of a handful of cases in Europe suggested matching the 2018 spread to a limited size in Britain, Israel and Singapore.
Hayman said the “biologically credible” virus has spread beyond countries where it is endemic, but the COVID-19 lockdown, social distance and travel restrictions have not led to a major outbreak.
He emphasized that the outbreak of the monkeypox did not coincide with the early days of the COVID-19 epidemic because it was not so easily transmitted. He said those who suspect they have been in contact or who show symptoms, including rashes and fever, should avoid close contact with others.
“There are vaccines available, but the most important message is, you can protect yourself,” he added.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)