According to the chief of the United Nations health organisation, the presence of hundreds of monkeypox cases in various different regions of the world is suggestive of the possibility that there may have been undetected transmission.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that hundreds of cases of monkeypox have arisen outside of the African countries that are generally affected by the disease. This serves as a warning that the virus has likely been spreading undetected for some time.
“Investigations are ongoing, but the sudden appearance of monkeypox in many countries at the same time suggests there may have been undetected transmission for some time,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters on Wednesday. “The sudden appearance of monkeypox in many countries at the same time suggests there may have been undetected transmission for some time.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 550 confirmed cases of monkeypox have been validated in 30 countries outside of the west and central African nations where it is common since the 7th of May, when the United Kingdom reported the first confirmed case of the disease.
According to the foremost authority on monkeypox at the United Nations’ health agency, Rosamund Lewis, the appearance of so many cases across a large portion of Europe and other countries where it has not been seen in the past “is clearly a cause for concern, and it does suggest undetected transmission for a while.”She stated, “We don’t really know if it is too late to contain,” adding that “we don’t really know if it is weeks, months, or even a couple of years.” “We don’t really know if it is too late to contain,” she said.
The disease known as monkeypox is closely linked to smallpox, which was responsible for the deaths of millions of people annually all over the world until it was eradicated in 1980.
However, the symptoms of monkeypox, which is contagious and spreads through intimate contact, are often far milder than those of chickenpox. These symptoms include a high fever and a rash that resembles chickenpox blisters and clears up after a few weeks.
An appeal to combat discrimination
Although there is no proof that monkeypox may be passed on through sexual contact, the vast majority of cases have been documented among guys who had had intercourse with other men up until this point.
Tedros stated that “anyone can be infected with monkeypox as long as they have direct personal contact with someone else who is ill.”
He pleaded with everyone to assist in “fighting stigma, which is not only wrong, but it could also deter sick individuals from seeking care, thereby making it more difficult to stop transmission.”
He also stated that the WHO was “urging afflicted nations to broaden their surveillance.”
Lewis stressed that it was absolutely necessary “that we jointly all work together to prevent further spread,” which may be accomplished by tracing people’s contacts and isolating those who have the sickness.
Vaccines that were originally created to combat smallpox have also been found to be roughly 85 percent effective in preventing monkeypox; however, there is a severe shortage of these vaccines.
The World Health Organization is not advocating for widespread vaccination; rather, they are advocating for the targeted use of vaccinations in certain environments to protect health workers and persons who are most at risk of illness.
Lewis brought attention to the fact that there has been an increase in the number of cases of monkeypox in endemic countries. In these countries, thousands of people get sick from the disease every year, and there have been approximately 70 deaths attributed to the virus across five African countries so far this year.
The risk of dying from monkeypox is typically extremely low, and there have been no fatalities reported among the confirmed cases that occurred in areas that are not endemic for the disease.
However, Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s head on emerging diseases, issued a warning that despite the fact that no fatalities have been documented, this might change if the virus spreads in communities who are more susceptible to its effects.
Warning about diseases that are endemic
In the meantime, Mike Ryan, who serves as the director of emergencies for the World Health Organization, issued a warning on Wednesday that outbreaks of endemic diseases such as monkeypox and lassa fever are growing more chronic and common.
Both animals and humans are adjusting their strategies for finding food in response to climate change, which is contributing to an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events such as drought. As a direct consequence of this, he explained, diseases that are normally spread among animals are increasingly spreading to humans.
Unfortunately, as Ryan forewarned, “the potential to amplify that sickness and carry it on within our communities is expanding.” As a result, “both disease emergence and disease amplification factors have increased,” which means that both types of factors have become more prevalent.