RT: Maria Van Kerkhove, Head a.i. Emerging Diseases and Zoonosis on the World Health Organization (WHO), speaks throughout a information convention on the scenario of the coronavirus on the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, January 29, 2020.
Denis Balibouse | Reuters
The World Health Organization on Thursday mentioned the monkeypox virus has unfold to greater than 20 international locations, urging nations to extend surveillance of the infectious illness as outbreaks develop.
About 200 confirmed instances and greater than 100 suspected instances of monkeypox have been detected exterior of nations the place it normally circulates, based on Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s Covid-19 technical lead. She mentioned extra instances of the uncommon viral sickness will possible be reported as surveillance expands, however added that the latest unfold is containable.
“We expect more cases to be detected. We are asking countries to increase surveillance,” Van Kerkhove mentioned throughout a Q&A on the worldwide well being company’s social media platforms. “This is a containable situation. It will be difficult, but it’s a containable situation in the non-endemic countries,” she mentioned.
Monkeypox has unfold to North America and Europe in latest weeks, producing outbreaks in international locations exterior of Central and West Africa the place the virus has circulated at low ranges over the previous 4 a long time. A milder West African pressure of the virus is driving the outbreaks and most sufferers get better in just a few weeks. No deaths have been reported up to now.
The European Union has confirmed 118 instances of monkeypox, based on the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Spain and Portugal have reported the biggest outbreaks within the EU with 51 and 37 instances respectively. The United Kingdom has confirmed 90 instances of the virus, based on the U.Ok. Health Security Agency.
In North America, the U.S. has recognized 9 instances of monkeypox throughout seven states, based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Canadian well being officers confirmed 16 instances of monkeypox, all detected within the province of Quebec.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky mentioned on Thursday some sufferers within the U.S. have not traveled to international locations with lively outbreaks, suggesting that the virus is spreading domestically. Walensky mentioned the CDC is conducting contact tracing and attempting to interrupt chains of transmission within the U.S.
Health officers in Europe, the U.Ok. and the U.S. have mentioned a majority the sufferers are homosexual or bisexual males, with the virus spreading in lots of instances by way of intercourse. However, the officers emphasised that monkeypox can unfold to anybody by way of shut bodily contact no matter sexual orientation. Van Kerkhove mentioned you will need to elevate consciousness about who faces an elevated threat proper now with out stigmatizing anybody.
Monkeypox will not be a sexually transmitted illness. The virus can unfold by way of any form of sustained skin-to-skin contact with an contaminated one who has a lesion. It can even unfold by way of physique fluids, contaminated bedsheets and clothes, or respiratory droplets if an individual has a lesion of their mouth.
The virus normally begins with signs just like the flu corresponding to fever, muscle aches, chills, complications, exhaustion and swollen lymph nodes. It then progresses to physique rashes characterised by raised bumps that flip into puss-filled blisters which ultimately dry out and fall off.
Van Kerhkove urged health-care professionals to contemplate monkeypox a prognosis for sufferers with rash sicknesses that current at sexual well being clinics, emergency departments, infectious illness clinics, primary-care physicians and dermatologists.
“It doesn’t mean that anyone with a rash will have monkeypox but we need to raise awareness about what monkeypox is and isn’t, and we need to ensure that countries have the capacity to test and provide the right information,” she mentioned.