Over 80 cases of monkeypox have already been confirmed by the World Health Organization today. A total of 11 countries have also reported an outbreak of the virus, said the health agency on Friday.
According to the WHO, the recently reported outbreaks are ‘unusual’ because they are from countries where the virus is not endemic. However, experts and scientists expect that more cases may be reported in the next few days.
In a statement, the agency said, “WHO is working with the affected countries and others to expand disease surveillance to find and support people who may be affected and to provide guidance on how to manage the disease.”
Monkeypox is a virus that is endemic in Central and West African rainforests; carriers are animals. In recent developments, several nations in Europe confirm dozens of cases – the largest monkeypox outbreak ever in the region. The United States confirms one case, while Canada has two.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that monkeypox is a disease from a virus coming from the same family as smallpox. While the effects are not severe, 1 out if 10 people die from the disease, according to data from Africa.
The Monkeypox virus is contracted if one comes in contact with people, things, or animals having the virus. The methods of entry include respiratory tract, eyes, nose, mouth, and broken skin. When infected, symptoms are that of the flu – fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, swollen lymph nodes, and exhaustion.
According to the CDC, within one to three days after contracting the virus, affected individuals experience fever, and rashes appear, starting on the face and eventually spreading across other parts of the body. Monkeypox lasts for about two to four weeks. Further, CDC explained that people in close proximity to infected individuals are at high risk – including health care workers, household members, and sexual partners.
In the US, the lone case was recorded by the CDC in the Massachusetts area this Wednesday. As per records, the patient recently traveled to Canada using a private car. Meanwhile, New York City and other states in the US have now begun protocols to counter monkeypox – this amid the new waves of COVID-19 cases.
The US is not new to the monkeypox outbreak. In 2003, the virus made its way to the US, the first recorded case outside of Africa, where it spread to over 70 people. The patients were infected through contact with infected prairie dogs.