Monkeypox is spreading in India, health authorities confirmed on Sunday. A 34-year-old Delhi resident with no history of international travel marks India’s first case of local human-to-human transmission. Incidentally, it was declared a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC)by the World health organization (WHO), a day before. But even with four cases now, health experts are not alarmed that it can take the form of a pandemic in ll likelihood. This article tells why monkeypox will not spread as fast as Covid.
A Public Health Emergency Declaration (PHEC) is issued by the authorities to address the public health risk caused by an extraordinary event. It can be used to mobilize international resources to respond to the situation.
The declaration was issued due to the increasing number of cases of monkeypox globally, which has been caused by the virus spreading to new regions that earlier had no such cases. According to the World Health Organization, there have been 14,533 cases of the disease reported from 72 countries as of July 20. This is up from 3,040 cases reported in May.
The death toll from the outbreak, however, has been low with only five cases reported in Nigeria and two in the Central African Republic.
Where has monkeypox occurred before?
Unlike Covid-19, which emerged in 2019, monkeypox is not a new disease. The first case of the disease was identified in 1970 in a nine-month-old boy in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Most of the infections were caused by the interactions between humans and animals in the region’s rainforest. Before the outbreak in 2022, cases were reported from West Africa and Central Africa.
What are the symptoms of monkey pox
The disease is a self-limiting viral illness that can cause fever and fatigue and can last for up to 2 weeks. Most of its symptoms are similar to that of other viral infections, such as fever and muscle aches. However, it can also lead to severe illness and even death. Some of the complications that can occur include pneumonia, encephalitis, and sepsis.
What vaccines are effective against monkeypox
The monkeypox virus is a member of the orthopoxvirus family, which is the same group that now eradicated smallpox belonged to. Because of being cross-reactive, the therapeutics and vaccines developed for smallpox can also be used against the disease.
Some individuals can be treated with tecovirimat, an antiviral medication made for smallpox. The US has reported over 2,800 cases of monkeypox. Two of the vaccines used against the disease are Jynneos and ACAM2000. These are designed to protect healthcare workers and individuals at high risk of getting infected. The mass vaccination campaign against smallpox ceased in 1980
Why there is a surge in monkeypox cases now
The disease can be transmitted from animals to humans through direct contact with their bodily fluids, blood, and lesions. Human-to-human transmission can also occur through coughing or respiratory secretions. However, unlike other viral infections, such as Covid-19 or influenza, the transmission of monkeypox requires prolonged face-to-face contact.
As is not as transmissible as Covid-19, monkeypox is unlikely to trigger an outbreak similar to that of the disease. The recent increase in cases might have been caused by the decline in immunity levels among animals after being vaccinated against smallpox.
Is monkeypox a sexually transmitted disease
Although the WHO doesn’t believe that the disease can be transmitted sexually, it is still investigating the situation since most of the cases in the current outbreak were reported in gay and bisexual individuals. A study conducted in London by the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that almost all of the individuals infected with the disease were men. Out of 32 semen samples analyzed, 29 of them contained monkeypox DNA.