Monkeypox: What you need to know about this outbreak

A monkeypox patient. PHOTO: COURTESY

Moneypox could be the next coronavirus.

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The outbreak of the disease in some European countries is the latest concern among countries moreso the ability to spread.

Monkeypox is a viral infection that has in the past been spotted in West and Central Africa.

By the weekend, about 100 cases had been confirmed or suspected in Europe.

As a result the disease is one of the most searched topics on Google.

A statement by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates scientists are investigating the outbreak, adding more cases are likely to be reported as surveillance expands.

A top European health official Hans Kluge warns that cases of the rare monkeypox virus could accelerate in the coming months.

WHO also stated that the recent outbreaks reported across the US, UK, Australia, and several European countries are atypical as they are occurring in non-endemic countries.

“There are about 80 confirmed cases so far, and 50 pending investigations. More cases are likely to be reported as surveillance expands,” WHO noted.

The Monkeypox illness usually causes symptoms of fever, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes. Chickenpox-like rashes are also found on the hands and face.

According to WHO, the transmission usually happens due to close contact with infected animals such as rodents and monkeys and is limited between people.

As per US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, anyone can spread monkeypox through contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, or shared items (such as clothing and bedding) that have been contaminated with fluids or sores of a person with monkeypox.

The US health body added that household disinfectants can kill the virus on surfaces. Monkeypox has only been fatal in rare cases.

Health experts have advised anyone at high risk of having caught monkeypox to isolate for 21 days.

Contacts are also advised to provide their details for contact tracing, forgo travel, and avoid contact with immunosuppressed people, pregnant women, and children under 12.

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