Monkeypox Virus: WHN declares Monkeypox a pandemic. Why India should get battle ready for Monkeypox

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Jun 24, 2022, 04:58 PM(IST)

According to CDC, Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the Monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae. Photograph:( Twitter )

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Monkeypox Virus: WHN has declared Monkeypox a pandemic. 3,417 cases have been confirmed till now across 58 counties. It's time when India should also start taking necessary precautions to prevent another outbreak like Covid-19. CDC has also given some generic as well as sexual guidelines to prevent the infection. 

World Health Network has declared Monkeypox a pandemic. This statement comes ahead of the World Health Organization's  meeting on Thursday, to decide on their Monkeypox outbreak designation. It said even though death rates are much lower than smallpox, unless concerted global action is taken to curb the ongoing spread, the infection will cause millions to die and render many blind and disabled. WHO also considers declaring it a global health emergency. It has spread to 58 countries with 3,417 cases and still is continuing, with South Korea reporting its first case. Singapore has also reported one case, the first in Southeast Asia, on a British flight attendant. The Centre for Disaster Control and Prevention has given various guidelines to control the spread, including isolation of infected persons, regular sanitisation, avoiding direct physical contact, avoiding contact with pets, etc. Some gay and bisexual men at higher risk of catching Monkeypox infection should be offered a vaccine, say UK health officials.

Also read | Monkeypox virus in semen? WHO probes if it's a sexually transmitted disease

What is Monkeypox and what are the latest symptoms of Monkeypox?

According to CDC of the US, Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the Monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae. The first human case of Monkeypox was recorded in 1970. Since then, Monkeypox virus has been reported in people in several central and western African countries. The latest symptoms of Monkeypox include fever, rashes all over the body, severe headache, fatigue, and enlarged lymph nodes. The incubation period of Monkeypox virus is usually from 6 to 13 days, but it can range from five to 21 days. The skin eruption usually begins within 1–3 days of appearance of fever. The rash tends to be more concentrated on the face and extremities rather than on the trunk.

Watch | WHO to rename Monkeypox, scientists call for a non discriminatory name

 

Why is Monkeypox virus spreading so fast?

The main reason for the Monkeypox outbreak and the virus spreading so fast is the carelessness of people. Even after the cases increasing day by day, people are not taking the required precautions. Currently, no countries have applied any travel restrictions. These were also one of the reason in the increase in number of Covid-19 cases earlier, and the same case is seen in Monkeypox.

Countries in which Monkeypox has spread till now

According to a report by WHO, a total of 42 countries, both endemic and non-endemic, have reported 2,103 laboratory-confirmed cases of monkeypox, since the beginning of the year. But now it has increased to 58 countries with 3,417 cases. Of these, 99 per cent of the cases were detected among men. On June 22, South Korea has also reported one case of Monkeypox. Europe has been the most hit, with 84 per cent of the confirmed cases being reported from the region. This is followed by 12 per cent in the Americas, while Africa accounts for 3 per cent of cases.

Here is a table provided by WHO of the list of the countries with Monkeypox cases till June 15.

Table provided by WHO

Also read | As monkeypox cases rise in US, CDC issues new guidance

CDC Sex Guidelines related to Monkeypox

Yes, you heard it right! Monkeypox can spread through sexual intercourse or direct physical contact. Though CDC suggests to avoid direct physical contact, it has given some sex guidelines to prevent the spread of Monkeypox. Here are some of them:

1. Have virtual sex with no in-person contact.

2. Masturbate together at a distance of at least 6 feet, without touching each other and without touching any rash or sores.

3. Consider having intercourse with your clothes on or covering areas where rash or sores are present, reducing as much skin-to-skin contact as possible.

4.Avoid kissing.

5. Remember to wash your hands, bed sheets and other things used. 

6. Limit your number of partners to avoid opportunities for Monkeypox to spread.

See the infographic below,

Sexual guidelines by CDC

 

 

Why should India get battle-ready for Monkeypox?

Many new countries like South Korea and Singapore have started to report cases of Monkeypox. According to latest reports, the virus is now spreading from person to person even in non-endemic countries. India should also get ready and take the necessary precautions as the Monkeypox virus can also enter India any day. The government should apply necessary travel restrictions. Vaccines should be given to the one's who have not got it yet and senior citizens and small children should try to stay indoors. India has to prepare itself to not face situations like it did in the COVID-19 outbreak. 

 

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