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Monkeypox rising in over 70 countries, WHO Director-General declared Monkeypox a global health emergency

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

Geneva: After the Corona virus, now the Mankippox is causing anxiety to the world. The cases started from Britain and Europe are now getting in many countries including India. Looking at the current situation, the World Health Organization has declared it as a Global Health Emergency. Director General of World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adnom Ghenisus said on Saturday that the current global mankipox outbreak is a ‘health emergency’.

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Dr. Tedros said, “One month ago, I had asked the emergency committee to assess this fact that there is a Mankipox outbreak health emergency in many countries. He said that then 3040 cases were in front of 47 countries, but since then Mankippox infection has increased and now more than 16 thousand cases and five deaths have been confirmed in 75 countries. Seeing the outbreak, I asked to see new data from the committee again on Thursday and advise me on the basis of it. Amid rising cases of monkeypox across the globe, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom on Saturday during a virtual briefing declared the monkeypox outbreak as a global health emergency. “For all of these reasons, I have decided that the global monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern,” Dr Tedros Adhanom said in a statement.

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What is the Monkeypox Virus?

Monkeypox is a disease that is caused by the monkeypox virus, capable of spreading from animals to humans and has been reported to the tune of 2,000 since January with one reported death. Monkeypox has two types of variants – the Congo strain and the West African strain. It is a viral disease that can spread from person to person through close contact including sexual contact, with an infected person’s skin, bodily fluids, mucosal surfaces, and contaminated objects, such as sex toys, or shared personal items, such as clothing, linens, bedding, towels, toothbrushes, and utensils, according to the PHAC. Most of the cases reported so far have been detected in the UK, Spain, and Portugal. The UN agency said “The vast majority of reported cases so far have no established travel links to an endemic area and have presented through primary care or sexual health services.”

Symptoms of Monkeypox?

Among humans, monkeypox has an incubation period of 21 days, after which symptoms begin to appear. the symptoms of this virus were deemed to be similar to those of the flu, including fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, exhaustion, and swollen lymph nodes. The disease then however progressed into a rash that can spread over the body. Patients are considered most infectious when the rash develops. But in the current outbreak, the symptoms have been atypical. Some people are developing a rash first, while others are showing a rash without any flu-like symptoms at all. Many patients have developed a localized rash on their genitals and anus.

Cases in India

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After covid-19 another virus monkeypox is now started to spread in India. So far, India has reported three cases of Monkeypox, all from Kerala. India’s third monkeypox was confirmed in a 35-year-old man who returned to Mallapuram from UAE on 6 July. “He was admitted with fever at Manjerry Medical College Hospital on 13 and from 15 he began showing symptoms. His family and close contacts under observation” said Kerala’s Health Minister Veena George. Earlier, on Wednesday, the state government issued standard operating procedures (SOP) for isolation, sample collection and treatment of those infected or showing signs of the disease and at the same time said there was nothing to be concerned about.

Amid rising of these cases, the Centre wrote to states urging them to take precautionary measures a week back. In a letter to all states, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan asked them to test and screen suspects at all points of entry. Authorities were also been asked to conduct regular orientation programs for all health officials.

Global Impact of Monkeypox

Mankippox infection has increased and now more than 16 thousand cases and five deaths have been confirmed in 75 countries, according to a tally by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published on July 20. According to WHO data, Europe is currently the global epicenter of the outbreak, reporting more than 80% of confirmed infections worldwide in 2022. The U.S. has reported more than 2,000 cases across 43 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.

Earlier in May, the United Kingdom reported a case of monkeypox in a person who recently returned from travel to Nigeria. after some days, the U.K. reported three more cases of monkeypox in people who appeared to have become infected locally. Other European nations, Canada and the U.S. then also began confirming cases.

Vaccines

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On Friday, amid rising concern the European Union’s drug watchdog recommended for approval the use of Imvanex, a smallpox vaccine, to treat monkeypox. Imvanex, developed by Danish drugmaker Bavarian Nordic, has been approved in the EU since 2013 for the prevention of smallpox. It was also considered a potential vaccine for monkeypox because of the similarity between the monkeypox virus and the smallpox virus.

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