The World Health Organization (WHO) expects to see more instances of monkeypox as surveillance is increased in places where the illness is uncommon.
The UN agency stated that as of Saturday, 92 confirmed cases and 28 suspected cases of monkeypox been reported from 12 non-endemic member states, and that it will give more guidelines and suggestions in the coming days for nations on how to stop the virus from spreading.
According to the CDC, “available information implies that human-to-human transmission is happening among those in close physical contact with symptomatic patients.”
Monkeypox is an infectious illness that is endemic in portions of West and Central Africa and is typically mild. Although it is a member of the same virus family as smallpox, it has less severe symptoms.
People normally recover without needing to be hospitalized in two to four weeks, although the sickness can be fatal.
Because it is spread by intimate contact, it is relatively easy to contain through self-isolation and cleanliness.
“What appears to be occurring today is that it has entered the community as a sexual form, as a genital form, and is distributed as sexually transmitted illnesses,” said WHO official David Heymann, an infectious disease specialist.
Heymann said an international committee of experts met via video conference to look at what needs to be studied about the outbreak and communicated to the public, including whether there is any asymptomatic spread, the people who are at most risk, and the various routes of transmission.
He said the meeting was “because of the urgency of the situation”. The committee is not the group that would suggest declaring a public health emergency of international concern, WHO’s highest form of alert, which applies to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said close contact was the key transmission route, as lesions typical of the disease are very infectious. For example, parents caring for sick children are at risk, as are health workers, which is why some countries have started inoculating teams treating monkeypox patients using vaccines for smallpox, a related virus.