Monkeypox: Over 257 Cases in 23 Nations, WHO Says Unlikely To Become Pandemic

India has reported no cases of Monkeypox as of 31 May. The spread of the virus

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Monkeypox: Over 257 Cases in 23 Nations, WHO Says Unlikely To Become Pandemic

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Nigeria reported its first death from Monkeypox even as the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a statement that over 257 cases of Monkeypox had been confirmed with 120 more suspected from 23 non-endemic countries.

The WHO said, on Sunday, 29 May, that the UK and Ireland had reported at least 106 confirmed cases of monkeypox, Canada had reported at least 26 cases, Portugal at least 49 cases, and the US at least 10 cases of the zoonotic virus.

According to the organization, none of the cases have a travel history to countries where Monkeypox is endemic. In countries where Monkeypox is endemic, the WHO stated that the Democratic Republic of Congo had reported over 1284 cases with at least 58 deaths this year.


According to the WHO:

"Monkeypox is a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms very similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although it is clinically less severe."

Monkeypox: What We Know So Far

The monkeypox virus is similar to the smallpox family of viruses.

As of 31 May, India had reported no cases of the disease. The WHO's technical lead for Monkeypox, Rosamund Lewis stated that they don't know whether this could become a global pandemic, but added that it's highly unlikely.

Monkeypox, unlike the SARS-CoV-2 COVID-19 virus, is a DNA virus. Experts believe that RNA viruses like SARS-CoV-2 spread faster and more effectively than DNA viruses.

However, little is known about the mode of transmission, since the monkeypox virus hasn't been studied closely enough.


Monkeypox: How Does It Spread?

The WHO states that the virus is transmitted from person to person through contact with body fluids, lesions, respiratory droplets and contaminated clothing or bedding.

While the incubation period for monkeypox is approximately 1-2 weeks, it can take upto 3 weeks to show symptoms.

The WHO stated that containment could be as simple as practicing good hygiene and safe sex practices, adding that the means of spread still need to be studied.

While a larger number of people reporting monkeypox infections are men who have sex with men, according to the WHO, this is also likely because this demographic is more likely to get medical screenings.

The WHO added that the monkeypox virus was no reason to avoid or shun pride parades, adding that it is important to show support.

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Topics:  Monkey   Monkeypox   Monkeypox Virus 

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