Saturday, July 2, 2022

Monkeypox presents a ‘moderate risk’ to global public health, says WHO

The World Health Organization said on Sunday that monkeypox constitutes a “moderate risk” to overall public health globally, after cases emerged in countries where the disease is not commonly found.
“The public health risk may be greater if this virus exploits the opportunity to establish itself as a human pathogen and spread to groups at high risk of serious illness, such as young children and immunosuppressed individuals,” WHO said. he said.

As of May 26, a total of 257 confirmed cases and 120 suspected cases have been reported from 23 member states that are not endemic for the virus, the health agency said in a statement. No casualties have been reported so far.

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Monkeypox presents a 'moderate risk' to global public health, says WHO
The WHO also noted that the sudden appearance of monkeypox in several non-endemic countries at once suggests some time of undetected transmission and a recent increase in incidence.
The agency said it expects more cases to be reported as surveillance in endemic and non-endemic countries.
“The majority of reported cases so far have no established travel link to an endemic area and have been presented through primary care or sexual health services,” the UN agency said.
On Friday, WHO’s head of pandemic and pandemic preparedness and prevention, Sylvie Bryand, acknowledged that cases of monkeypox found in recent weeks outside countries where the virus usually spreads may be only the beginning.

“We don’t know if we are just seeing the peak of the iceberg,” she said at a briefing to countries on the “unusual” spread of the virus.

Monkeypox is related to smallpox, which killed millions of people around the world each year before its eradication in 1980.
But monkeypox is much less severe, with a mortality ratio of three to six percent. Most people recover within three to four weeks.
Early symptoms include high fever, swollen lymph nodes, and a chickenpox-like rash.
While many cases have been linked to having sex with men, experts say there is no evidence that it was a sexually transmitted disease. Rather, it appears to be spread through close contact with an infected person who has blisters on their skin.
There isn’t much in the way of treatment, but a few antivirals developed against smallpox exist, one of which was recently approved by the European Medicines Agency against smallpox.
Vaccines developed for smallpox have also been found to be about 85 percent effective in preventing monkeypox.

However, since smallpox has not posed a threat in more than four decades, most people under the age of 45 have not received the vaccine, and the supply of jabs today is very limited.

Read Also:  Children's low COVID-19 vaccination rate called 'gut punch'
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