The World Health Organization ( WHO ) has declared the virus a ‘Global Health Emergency’ in view of the rapidly increasing outbreak of monkeypox. This means that WHO is now seeing this virus as a major threat to global health and WHO wants that now all countries need to come together to prevent this virus from spreading further and turning into a pandemic.
What did the WHO say?
WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that we have an outbreak which is spreading rapidly around the world in new ways. We know very little about this. So they decided to declare monkeypox as a ‘global health emergency’.
“The WHO assessment is that there is a moderate risk of monkeypox globally in all regions, except the European region. There is also a clear risk of further international spread,” Trudros added.
What is monkeypox virus?
Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease. This disease is caused by infection with monkeypox virus which comes from the orthopoxvirus genus of the family Poxviridae. The Orthopoxvirus genus also includes the viruses that cause smallpox and cowpox.
In 1958, this virus was revealed in the settlements of monkeys prepared for research and it was found to cause a disease like pox.
How does the monkeypox virus spread and what are its symptoms?
Anyone can become infected by coming into contact with an animal or human infected with monkeypox. This virus enters the body through broken skin, breath and mouth. It is spread through large respiratory droplets released during a sneeze or cough.
The symptoms of monkeypox in humans are similar to smallpox. Initially there is fever, headache, muscle and back pain, tiredness and after three days the rash starts appearing on the body.
Monkeypox cases have been reported in these countries
According to WHO, so far more than 16,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported in more than 75 countries including America , Britain, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Australia, Canada, Austria, Israel, Switzerland. Huh. Most of these cases have been reported in Europe.
So far this year, this virus has killed five people. All these deaths have occurred in Africa, with no deaths reported outside Africa yet.
Three cases have been reported in India
So far three cases of monkeypox have been reported in India. All these three cases have been found in Kerala. The first case was found on 14 July. Then a 35-year-old resident of Kollam was found infected with the virus. He had returned from UAE.
After this, a person who returned from Dubai to Kannur was found infected with monkeypox . Then on 22 July, the person who returned from UAE was found infected with this virus.
Government of India is alert, guidelines issued
The central government has been alert ever since the first case came to light and has sent a team to Kerala to help the state government deal with the disease . Apart from this, it has also issued new guidelines for international travelers, in which they have been advised not to come in contact with sick travelers. They have also been told not to eat bushmeat and not to use products made from wild animals of Africa.