Monkeypox cases spread ‘tip of iceberg’, says WHO: 10 points

Monkeypox is endemic in 11 countries in West and Central Africa.

New Delhi:
The European Union disease agency estimates the number of monkeypox cases has reached 219 outside of countries where the virus usually circulates. The World Health Organization has warned of more cases in the coming days.

Here are 10 things we know about the Monkeypox outbreak:

  1. Monkeypox, which is a less serious disease than its cousin smallpox, is endemic in 11 countries in West and Central Africa.

  2. The virus was discovered in 1958 in monkeys kept for research. The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970.

  3. The World Health Organization has warned that the 200 cases of monkeypox found in recent weeks outside countries where it is endemic could be just the beginning. “We know that we will have more cases in the coming days,” acknowledged Sylvie Briand, head of preparedness and prevention of epidemics and pandemics at the WHO, in a briefing to countries on the “unusual” spread of the virus.

  4. Health agencies have said the majority of cases were found in gay men.

  5. The UK reported its first case of monkeypox in early May. Since then, the virus has spread rapidly in the country with the infection count now at 90.

  6. Spain has reported 98 confirmed cases of monkeypox so far.

  7. Meanwhile, Portugal has registered 74 confirmed cases, health authorities said on Friday, adding that all the cases are in men, mainly under 40 years of age.

  8. Fever, muscle pain, lesions and chills are the common symptoms of monkeypox in humans.

  9. The virus has a fatality rate of three to six percent. Most people recover in three to four weeks.

  10. There is currently no specific treatment for monkeypox. Patients will usually need to stay in a specialized hospital so that the infection does not spread and general symptoms can be treated.

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