Since May 2022, the monkeypox virus disease outbreak has become a grave concern globally. The viral infection used to prevail in African nations; however, the appearance in North America and Europe on such a scale is unprecedented.
WHO confirmed 92 confirmed and 28 suspected cases in 12 non-epidemic countries from North America and Western Europe. The data shows Portugal, Spain, and the UK have the most confirmed cases, while Canada leads in suspected cases.
Researchers haven’t found any confirmed link between the outbreak’s travel to any endemic areas. However, most of the confirmed case has been identified mainly but not exclusively among homosexual males who are sexually active with another male (MSM).
Intimate contact seems to be the most common cause of spreading among the confirmed cases. According to David Heymann, an expert in infectious disease epidemiology, the virus is getting into people primarily as sexually transmitted infections.
The Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have reported the highest number of confirmed cases and deaths among the endemic countries. Cameroon and Nigeria are following with growing numbers of confirmed cases and deaths.
The virus transmits through human-to-human while infected people are in close contact with an unaffected person. Despite the transmission pattern, no travel link to any epidemic area has created a concern among health professionals and researchers.
In 2018 and 2019, a similar outbreak happened when the West African clade strain of monkeypox virus was exported from Nigeria to Singapore, the UK, and Israel. PCR tests show the same clade is also responsible for the recent outbreak.
One bright side of this virus from the Poxviridae family is it creates less severe symptoms than typical pox. However, the ailment causes viral zoonosis (transmission from animal to human), causing an additional possibility of alternative outbreaks in epidemic regions.
The virus can transmit by close contact with body fluids, respiratory droplets, contaminated materials, and lesions. It can go fatal, and up to 6% of the infected person can die. The risk of dying is higher among young children.
Updates: List of countries where cases are detected (23 May 2022 6 AM EST )
- United States
- United Kingdom
Stay Safe! Stay Healthy!