Monkeypox fears: ‘Be concerned’

The leading health authority says it expects more cases of monkeypox to be detected in countries where the disease is not typically found, including Australia.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says it expects to identify more cases of monkeypox as it spreads in countries where the disease is typically not found.

Since early May, several cases of monkeypox have been discovered in North America and Europe, raising concerns that the disease, endemic to parts of Africa, is spreading.

Australia is currently investigating his first case, after a man in his 40s landed in Sydney with a ‘probable’ infection, while health authorities in the Canadian province of Quebec are investigating after more than a dozen suspected cases have emerged.

On Saturday, 92 confirmed cases and 28 suspected cases of monkeypox were reported from 12 member states where the virus is not endemic, the UN agency said, adding it will provide further guidance and recommendations to countries in the coming days on how to reduce the disease. . spread of monkey pox.

“Available information suggests that human-to-human transmission occurs in people in close physical contact with cases that are symptomatic,” the agency said.

Biden: ‘Something to worry about’

US President Joe Biden said on Sunday that the recent cases of monkeypox identified around the world are “something to be concerned about”.

“It’s a concern because it would have repercussions if it spread,” he said in his first public comments on the outbreak.

“They haven’t told me how high the exposure is yet, but it’s something everyone should be concerned about. We are working hard to find out what we are doing.”

He added that efforts are underway to determine which vaccine may be effective.

In the United Kingdom, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said new figures would be released Monday after it registered 20 cases on Friday.

Britain sees daily infections from the rare monkeypox virus unrelated to travel to West Africa, where the disease is endemic, a health official said Sunday.

There have been thousands of human infections in parts of central and western Africa in recent years, but it is rare in Europe and North America.

When asked whether community transmission is now the norm in Britain, Susan Hopkins, UKHSA’s chief medical adviser, said “absolutely”.

“We find cases that have no identified contact with a person from West Africa, which we have seen before in this country,” she told the BBC.

“We are detecting more cases every day.”

Hopkins declined to confirm reports that one person was in intensive care, but said the outbreak was concentrated in urban areas, among gay or bisexual men.

“The risk to the general population remains extremely low at this point, and I think people should be vigilant about it,” she said, adding that symptoms would be “relatively mild” for most adults.

The first British case was announced on May 7 in a patient who had recently traveled to Nigeria. The disease is also spreading in Europe and North America.

Monkeypox can be transmitted through contact with skin lesions and droplets from an infected person, as well as shared items such as bedding and towels.

The virus is also transmitted from animals to humans, with symptoms very similar to smallpox, but less severe clinically.

Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, and a chickenpox-like rash on the hands and face.

They usually disappear after two to four weeks.

There is no specific treatment, but vaccination against smallpox has been shown to be about 85 percent effective in preventing monkeypox.

Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi said the British government had already started buying up stocks of smallpox vaccine.

“We take it very, very seriously,” he told the BBC.

– With AFP

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