Monday, August 8, 2022

WHO declares monkeypox global health emergency

Over 16,000 cases have been reported from 75 countries, with Europe as the global epicentre, reporting more than 80 per cent of confirmed infections.

• July 23, 2022
Monkeypox used to illustrate the story [Credit: The Health Site]

The World Health Organization has declared the monkeypox outbreak to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), as the deadly virus spreads across the world.

On Saturday, a high alert for the outbreak was issued at the end of the second meeting of the health body’s emergency committee on the virus.

“We have an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly, through new modes of transmission, about which we understand too little,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “For all of these reasons, I have decided that the global monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern.”

Over 16,000 cases have been reported from 75 countries. Europe is currently the global epicentre of the outbreak, reporting more than 80 per cent of confirmed infections worldwide.

The United States has reported over 2,500 monkeypox cases so far across 44 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

The NCDC in its latest Monkeypox situation report spanning July 4 to 7, reported 101 confirmed cases in 2022, its highest figure since 2017 when the disease re-emerged.

“In addition, from September 2017 to July 10, 2022, a total of 11 deaths have been recorded (CFR= 3.5per cent) in six states – Lagos (3), Edo (2), Imo (1), Cross River (1), FCT (1), Rivers (1), Ondo (1) and Delta (1),” the virus monitoring agency said.

After an incubation period of usually one to two weeks, Monkeypox typically starts with fever, muscle aches, fatigue, and other flu-like symptoms.

Unlike smallpox, monkeypox also causes swelling of the lymph nodes. Patients develop a rash, often beginning on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body.

The lesions grow into fluid-containing pustules that form a scab. The illness typically lasts two to four weeks, according to the WHO.

Most reported cases in the 2022 outbreaks have been linked to skin-to-skin contact with someone infected with this virus, such as during sex.

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