Monkeypox cases ‘just tip of iceberg’ – WHO — Analysis
According to the global health agency, many additional cases of this virus are yet to be identified
The hundreds of cases of monkeypox that have been diagnosed in the past month across Europe, North and South America, Israel, the UAE and Australia may be just “This is the top of the iceberg,” WHO Epidemic and Pandemic Preparedness and Prevention chief Sylvie Briand warned on Friday during a press briefing.
Briand suggested there could be “There are many other cases that go unreported in the communities.,” as monkeypox does not immediately present with definitive symptoms. Flu-like symptoms such as fever, muscle pains, swelling of lymph nodes, and muscle aches are common in the initial stages. After that, the chickenpox-like rash develops on the skin and body. The virus is usually reversible within two to three weeks.
Despite stating that “It is likely that there will be more cases coming up in the days ahead.,” Briand discouraged people from panicking, insisting “It is not something the general population should worry about. This isn’t Covid, or any other disease that spreads quickly.” While the WHO is still seeking to determine the exact origin of the recent monkeypox outbreak, there is no indication that the virus responsible for it has mutated or otherwise become more dangerous.
Last week, the agency called an emergency meeting to address the outbreak that began in Nigeria earlier this month. It was likely to have started in the UK by individuals who traveled to Nigeria. It is currently endemic in West and Central Africa. However, its existence outside Africa is not considered unusual.
Maria van Kerkhove, a WHO official has confirmed that most of the cases outside Africa were found in males who had sexual contact with women. Early reports about the spread of the disease in Spain and Belgium suggested links to gay festivals. Grindr gay dating app sent an alert to users in the UK and Europe earlier this week, warning them of the epidemic and encouraging them seek medical attention if they feel ill.
EU’s first monkeypox quarantine
The WHO reports that over 200 cases of the disease have been reported from 20 countries. Most were found in the UK. Last week, Belgium was the only country that declared a 21-day mandatory quarantine for those infected. The WHO’s European head, Hans Kluge, expressed concern that the disease could spread rapidly over the summer festival season, given the sexually transmitted nature of most of the confirmed cases.
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