The Monkeypox virus has raised concerns in at least nine European countries – Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK – of cases which have also been reported in the United States, Canada and Australia. As the WHO held an emergency meeting on Friday, a senior health official issued a warning that cases could “accelerate”. “As we enter the summer season (…) with mass gatherings, festivals and parties, I fear that transmission is accelerating,” said the WHO regional director for Europe. , Hans Kluge, quoted by the AFP news agency.
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Here are ten points about the monkeypox alarm:
1. The spread, Kluge said, appears “atypical.” “All but one of the recent cases have no relevant travel history to areas where monkeypox is endemic,” he added.
2. Nearly 100 cases are confirmed or suspected in Europe.
3. In Spain, 24 new cases were recorded on Friday, bringing the total number to more than 30. A sauna in Madrid was forced to close due to a suspected link to the outbreak. “The Paraiso sauna will remain closed for the next few days, as a precautionary measure in the face of the alert (…) in the face of the emergence of so-called monkeypox infections in the Madrid region”, reads on Twitter.
4. “This is the largest and most widespread outbreak of monkeypox ever seen in Europe,” the German armed forces medical service was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency. The European nation reported its first case in the country on Friday.
5. “Monkeypox is a sylvatic zoonosis with accidental human infections that usually occurs in forested regions of central and western Africa. It is caused by the monkeypox virus which belongs to the orthopoxvirus family,” the WHO states.
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6. Transmission typically occurs “via droplet exposure via exhaled large droplets and through contact with infected skin lesions or contaminated materials. The incubation period for monkeypox is usually 6 to 13 days but can range from 5 to 21 days. The disease is often self-limiting and symptoms usually resolve on their own within 14 to 21 days,” explains the global health body.
7. There appears to be “low public risk” at this time, a senior US administration official said.
8. Transmission may last for some time, health officials suspect, while it is also being further investigated that most cases are spread through intimate contact.
9. Monkeypox virus, which has been widely reported in African countries so far, is not likely to spread like Covid.
ten. “However, this epidemic is very unlikely to last long. Cases can be isolated well via contact tracing and there are also effective drugs and vaccines that can be used if necessary,” said Fabian Leendertz of the Robert Koch Institute. by the Reuters news agency.
(With contributions from Reuters, AFP, AP)
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