Monkeypox outbreak: The rare Monkeypox viral infection has now reached 27 countries with at least 780 confirmed cases worldwide, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Sunday. According to the health authority, the countries are not yet in the endemic state, IANS reported. The new peak represents an increase of 523 laboratory-confirmed cases (+203 percent) since May 29, when a total of 257 cases were reported. “Since May 13, 2022 and as of June 2, 2022, 780 laboratory-confirmed cases of monkeypox have been reported to or identified by WHO from 27 Member States in four WHO regions not endemic to monkeypox virus,” the WHO said. in a statement.
So far, there have been no deaths related to the current monkeypox outbreak. Of these, Canada has confirmed 58 cases of monkey pox, said Theresa Tam, the country’s chief public health officer
While the epidemiological investigation is ongoing, the Global Health Authority said most reported cases have been reported as a result of irresponsible sexual health or other health services in primary or secondary health care facilities, and primarily, but not exclusively, involve men who have sex with men (MSM). However, the WHO has clarified that monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease.
According to the Global Health Body, the virus can spread through any type of sustained skin-to-skin contact with an infected person who has a lesion. It can also spread through bodily fluids, contaminated sheets and clothing, or respiratory droplets if a person has a lesion in the mouth.
The WHO noted that the “sudden and unexpected appearance of monkeypox in several non-endemic countries at the same time suggests that there may have been undetected transmission for an unknown length of time”.
Scientists also agree with the theory that the monkeypox virus may have been circulating quietly for years before suddenly emerging globally.
What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare viral infection similar to human smallpox. It was first discovered in 1958 in monkeys kept for research and the first human case of monkeypox was reported in 1970. The disease occurs mainly in tropical rainforests in Central and West Africa.
The virus belongs to the Poxviridae family, which also includes the viruses that cause smallpox and cowpox.
(with IANS inputs)