Monkeypox outbreak: Virus detected in 23 countries, over 250 cases confirmed globally


The monkeypox virus, which has emerged just as the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic subsided in most nations, has been detected in 23 countries till now, confirmed the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Sunday.

WHO said that the monkeypox virus has been spread to 23 non-endemic countries now, and there has so far been a cumulative total of 257 laboratory-confirmed cases and around 120 suspected cases, which has sparked a fear that this disease can spread even more.

The global health agency further said that the reason behind monkeypox spreading to several countries at once, where diseases are not usually detected, can be the undetected transmission of the virus for some time and recent amplifying events.

For now, research is being conducted about the monkeypox outbreak across the globe, with health experts focusing on how severe this disease can be. It has been reported that the virus can be fatal in some cases but in general poses a “moderate” threat to the world.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday that monkeypox constitutes a “moderate risk”  to overall public health at the global level after cases were reported in countries where the disease is not typically found.

“The public health risk could become high if this virus exploits the opportunity to establish itself as a human pathogen and spreads to groups at higher risk of severe diseases such as young children and immunosuppressed persons,” WHO said.

Monkeypox is an infectious disease that is usually mild and is endemic in parts of the west and central Africa. It is spread by close contact, so it can be relatively easily contained through measures such as self-isolation and hygiene. Most of the cases reported so far have been detected in the UK, Spain, and Portugal.

Earlier, it was also reported that monkeypox can spread through unprotected sex and most of the cases are being reported from the LGBTQ community, sparking sharp criticism against media houses for “homophobic” and “discriminatory” reporting of the outbreak.

(With Reuters inputs)

READ | Monkeypox outbreak: Disease presents moderate risk to global health, says WHO

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