UN health agency insists it is still possible to contain an outbreak of smallpox in monkeys |

“What we know from this virus and these modes of transmission, this outbreak can still be contained; That is the goal of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Member States to contain this outbreak and contain it,” said Dr Rosamund Lewis, smallpox team leader, WHO Emergencies Programme. “The so the risk to the public seems lowbecause we know that the main modes of transmission has been described in the past. ”

Latest data from WHO Member States as of May 22, says more than 250 confirmed and suspected cases of monkey pox from 16 countries and some WHO regions.

The symptoms can be very similar to those experienced by a smallpox patient, although they clinically less severealthough it looks dramatic, with raised pustules and fever in the most severe cases can last two to four weeks.

Skin vector

This outbreak of monkeypox has been transmitted primarily by skin-to-skin contact, although the virus can also be spread through respiratory droplets and contaminated bedding, according to the United Nations health agency. .

The incubation period for monkeypox is usually 6 to 13 days but can also be 5 to 21 days. Dr Lewis noted: “We do not have information yet on whether this substance is transmitted through bodily fluids, before urging potentially at-risk groups to ‘be mindful’ when in close contact with others.

In an effort to warn against stigmatizing those with the virus, the United Nations health agency emphasizes that although most infections have mainly involved men who have sex with men, , this may be because they are more proactive in seeking healthcare advice. better than others.

Diseases “can affect anyone and (it) is not related to any particular group of people,” Dr. Lewis told journalists in Geneva.

The truth of life for many people

What is unusual about this outbreak, she stressed, is that “the countries that are reporting monkeypox now are the countries that don’t normally have Monkeypox outbreaks.

There are several endemic countries: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Cameroon are currently reporting cases, and there are other countries that have reported cases in the past. . ”

Vaccine stockpile

Although the smallpox vaccination provided protection against smallpox in monkeys in the past, people under 40 to 50 years of age today may be more susceptible to smallpox infection due to smallpox vaccination campaigns. ended globally after the disease was eradicated in 1980.

Although WHO member states have asked WHO to retain smallpox vaccine stocks in the event of a new outbreak, Dr Lewis explains that “it has been 40 years and these stockpiles may need to be refreshed – they certainly need to be reviewed – and WHO has been working on that and is looking at it now too. “

There are two variants of the monkeypox virus: West Africa and the Congo Basin (Central Africa). The first human case was identified in a child in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970 and although the name monkeypox derives from the discovery of the virus in monkeys in a laboratory in Denmark in 1958, but it was a bit misleading, Dr. Lewis explained.

Most of the animals susceptible to smallpox are in fact rodents, Gambian giant rat, dormitory, prairie dog; those are the types of animals from which there can be transmission – spread from animals to people – from animals to humans that may enter the forest, or people may be exposed to the virus through transmission from animal to human. “

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