- Monkeypox declared a global health emergency
- The first case was found in the Congo in 1970
- So far 16,593 cases have been found in 68 countries.
Monkeypox Virus Outbreak WHO: The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the current monkeypox epidemic a global health emergency. The Committee of Independent Advisors, which met on Thursday 21 July 2022, was unanimous in deciding whether to call the growing monkeypox outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) – the highest level of alert. The head of the WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, broke the deadlock and declared the outbreak a PHEIC. It is the first time the WHO’s director-general has brushed aside his advisers to declare a public health emergency.
The first case of monkeypox in a child was reported in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (then Zaire). Since then, outbreaks have generally been short and detectable, but a person has recently returned from a country where the virus is endemic—that is, countries in West and Central Africa. But the current outbreak is unlike any previous outbreak outside Africa, with continuous person-to-person transmission of infection. That is, the infection spreads from one person to another. As of 22 July, there have been 16,593 confirmed cases in 68 countries that had never previously been known to have monkeypox. Most of the infections have come from Europe.
impressing these men
Most infections have occurred in men who have sex with men, especially men who have sex with multiple people. Models presented to the WHO suggest that the average number of people infected with the disease is between 1.4 and 1.8 among men who have sex with men, but less than 1.0 in other populations. So even if the infection can occasionally spread to populations other than men who have sex with men, significant spread is still unlikely. In Europe, the rate of increase in new monkeypox cases each week has been slow in recent weeks. Most infections still occur in men who have sex with men.
In the UK, 97% of patients are men who have sex with men, but the growth rate in the epidemic seems to have dropped to zero or even negative in recent weeks. Experts have recently been debating whether monkeypox is now a sexually transmitted disease. Even though monkeypox is undoubtedly spread during sexual intercourse, labeling it as an STD would not be correct, as the infection can be spread through any intimate contact.
symptoms of monkeypox
Monkeypox Virus Outbreak
A person infected with the virus may experience fever, severe headache, back pain, muscle aches, lack of energy and lymphadenopathy or swelling of the lymph nodes. These symptoms can last up to five days. One to three days after the onset of fever, the skin begins to crack. Rashes appear on the face and body parts. In 95 percent of monkeypox cases, the rash affects the face while in 75 percent of the cases it affects the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. However, with time, the wounds caused by the rash dry up.
how to defend
Monkeypox Virus Outbreak
Avoid consuming half-cooked meat and other animal related products to prevent the spread of the monkeypox virus.
Avoid coming in direct contact with the infected person.
Maintain social distance with people infected with the virus.
Do not use things of infected person. Like a bed or other items, because that too can be contaminated with the virus.
Arguments for and against declaring a global health emergency
Broadly speaking, the WHO’s Emergency Committee argued in favor of declaring it a global health emergency, saying that monkeypox falls within the definition of PHEIC under the WHO’s International Health Regulations: ‘an exceptional event that occurs through international transmission to other countries. poses a public health risk, and which potentially requires a coordinated international response.
Arguments against declaring it a global health emergency included the fact that only 12 countries in Europe and North America currently see widespread infections, and that there is evidence of cases in those countries stagnating or falling. Almost all cases occur in men who have sex with men and have multiple partners, which provides opportunities to prevent transmission with measures targeted at this group. Although the emergency committee did not reach a consensus, Tedros decided to declare a PHEIC.
This declaration of a global health emergency will likely not change much of containment activities in the most affected countries outside Africa. However, it may encourage countries that have so far had few cases to ensure that their health systems are better able to manage if the infection spreads to their countries. Hopefully, this will lead to better funding for research and capacity improvement in the countries concerned for the management of the disease.
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