Monkeypox poses a moderate global public health risk, says WHO

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified monkeypox as a “moderate threat” to global public health.

In a report released on Sunday, the WHO gave a breakdown of monkeypox virus side effects, its transmissibility and its occurrence in countries around the world.

As of May 26, only 257 cases had been laboratory tested and documented globally, with an additional 120 suspected cases without laboratory confirmation.

“Currently, the overall global public health risk is assessed as moderate given that this is the first time that cases and clusters of monkeypox have been reported simultaneously across widely disparate WHO geographic areas, and without known epidemiological links with non-endemic countries in West or Central Africa,” the WHO said.

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“The situation is changing rapidly and WHO expects there will be more cases identified as surveillance expands in non-endemic countries, as well as in countries known to be endemic that have not recently reported case,” the agency said.

The data indicates that the monkeypox virus is not as transmissible as the coronavirus has been in recent years of the global pandemic. Transmission of monkeypox typically requires skin-to-skin contact, sharing bodily fluids, and other forms of direct contact.

Although the virus is not exclusively transmitted through sex between men, outbreaks of monkeypox have been clustered in LGBTQ communities. The WHO has provided expert advice on the virus to these groups.

This 1997 image provided by the CDC during an investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox, which took place in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), formerly Zaire, and depicts the dorsal surfaces of the hands of a patient with monkeypox, who exhibited the appearance of the characteristic rash during his recovery phase.
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This 1997 image provided by the CDC during an investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox, which took place in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), formerly Zaire, and depicts the dorsal surfaces of the hands of a patient with monkeypox, who exhibited the appearance of the characteristic rash during his recovery phase.
(CDC via AP)

“One of the reasons we are currently hearing cases of monkeypox from sexual health clinics in communities of men who have sex with men in this outbreak may be due to the positive health-seeking behavior in this group. population,” the WHO wrote in its report. “Monkeypox rashes can resemble certain sexually transmitted diseases, including herpes and syphilis, which may explain why these cases are being detected in sexual health clinics. It is likely that as we learn more , we will be able to identify cases in the wider community.”

About 20 countries where monkeypox is not endemic have reported virus disease outbreakswith more than 200 confirmed or suspected infections, mainly in Europe.

The name “monkeypox” reflects the earliest documentation of the virus, which was in monkey species in Denmark in 1958.

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Labeled test tubes "Positive monkeypox virus" are seen in this illustration taken May 22, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Files

Test tubes labeled “Monkeypox virus positive” are seen in this illustration taken May 22, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Files
(Reuters)

“A case of monkeypox in a non-endemic country is considered an epidemic. The sudden appearance of monkeypox simultaneously in multiple non-endemic countries suggests that there may have been undetected transmission for some time as well as outbreak events. recent amplifications.”

Mexico announced on Saturday its first confirmed case of monkeypoxaccording to Assistant Secretary of Health Hugo Lopez-Gatell.

The patient was a 50-year-old permanent New York resident who is to be treated in MexicoLopez-Gatell said on Twitter.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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