Monkeypox has been detected in both Europe and North America after dozens of suspected or confirmed cases were reported this month according to CNA.
The disease is usually endemic to parts of Central and Western Africa. However, the recent outbreak has raised concerns among health authorities in several countries.
In Europe, the UK has reported nine cases since May 6, 2022, while Spain and Portugal have over 40 potential and verified cases.
More of such cases were also reported in France, Italy and Sweden on May 19, 2022, according to Reuters.
During a World Health Organisation (WHO) press conference, epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove said that they need to better understand the magnitude of the monkeypox in endemic countries.
. @WHO is working with member states & partners to better understand #monkeypox circulation in endemic & non-endemic countries. We expect # cases/countries reporting to increase.— Maria Van Kerkhove (@mvankerkhove) May 19, 2022
Monkeypox is a priority pathogen & requires investment in studies for transmission, severity, R&D… pic.twitter.com/aoxpQY6nTj
How the virus works
Monkeypox is an orthopoxvirus with similar symptoms to smallpox but less deadly.
The National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) stated that a person may contract the virus in several ways; through either contact with infected animals, infected humans, or items that have been contaminated with the virus.
It enters the human body through breaks in the skin, mucous membranes such as the eyes, nose or mouth, or through the respiratory tract.
These symptoms will show among more than 70 per cent who are infected:
- Muscle ache
- Swelling of lymph nodes
Within a few days after fever, a rash with flat and raised parts will develop and spread around the body. The wounds will turn into blisters before turning into a puss-filled bulge of skin.
It will naturally dry up in a little over a week and will fall off eventually.
The disease will usually go away within two to three weeks.
However, according to NCID, the infection can be fatal, particularly in young children, with a reported mortality rate of 1 to 10 per cent during outbreaks.
Monkeypox case in 2019
The Ministry of Health (MOH) detected an imported case of monkeypox in Singapore back on May 9, 2019.
The patient arrived in the country on Apr. 28, 2019, and developed a fever, muscle ache, chills and skin rashes two later.
He was brought to Tan Tock Seng Hospital on May 7, 2019, and was subsequently referred to NCID where he was diagnosed with the disease.
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Top photo from Wikipedia.