Monkeypox cases have been documented or are suspected in the United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain, and the United States.
The outbreaks are alarming since the viral disease, which was first discovered in monkeys and spreads through close contact, is mostly found in west and central Africa and only very rarely moves abroad.
The virus that causes monkeypox causes fever and a unique bumpy rash. It is usually moderate, but there are two primary strains: the Congo strain, which is more severe and can result in up to 10% death, and the West African strain, which has a fatality rate of about 1%. The West African strain has been identified in the UK cases.
“There have been very few examples exported in the past. It had only happened eight times before this year, according to Jimmy Whitworth, an international public health professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who described it as “very rare.” “.
The virus monkeypox causes fever and an unique bumpy rash. The Congo strain is more severe, with up to 10% death, whereas the West African strain has a fatality rate of about 1%. The West African strain was identified in the UK patients.
“Only a few examples have ever been exported in the past. It had only happened eight times before this year, according to Jimmy Whitworth, an international public health professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who described it as “very rare.”
How Monkeypox Spread?
The virus spreads through intimate contact, both from animals and, less frequently, from humans. It was first discovered in monkeys in 1958, hence the name, although rodents are now thought to be the most likely animal host.
Experts are baffled by this time’s transmission because a lot of the cases in the United Kingdom – nine as of May 18 – have no known connections. The first instance, which was recorded on May 6, had only recently visited Nigeria.
Increased travel once COVID-19 limitations are released is one probable explanation for the increase in instances.
“My working theory is that there’s a lot of it in west and central Africa, that travel has restarted, and that’s why we’re seeing more instances,” Whitworth explained.
Monkeypox, which is related to smallpox and causes less devastating sickness, has virologists on high alert.
Vaccination was used to eradicate smallpox in 1980, and the shot has since been phased out. However, because it also protects against monkeypox, the discontinuation of vaccination campaigns has resulted in an increase in monkeypox cases in endemic areas, according to Anne Rimoin, an epidemiology professor at UCLA in California.