Monkeypox, In response, the World Health Organization called an emergency conference on June 23 to determine whether the disease poses a bigger threat to public health.
The World Health Organization may declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, although this decision could take several days.
There is no need to be concerned about another pandemic.
If the WHO declares an emergency, all it means for the time being is that doctors should pay more attention to the disease and notify their patients about it.
According to experts, monkeypox is unlikely to become a pandemic. The monkeypox virus, unlike SARS-CoV-2, is only spread through close contact with an infected person.
However, some groups of people, such as health care workers who treat monkeypox patients or friends and relatives of sick persons, should take extra precautions.
How is monkeypox transmitted to humans?
Monkeys, despite their name, are not natural hosts of the virus. Researchers believe the main hosts, or “reservoirs,” are African rodents such as Gambian pouched rats, dormice, and African squirrels.
The virus is thought to have first infected people in the 1970s through handling of bushmeat or bites or scratches from infected animals. According to researchers, monkeypox outbreaks are a result of our increased contact with wild animals as a result of deforestation and poaching.
Animal transportation around the world was a primary vector for monkeypox spread to non-African countries. Experts, for example, linked a minor outbreak in the United States in 2003 to mice brought from Ghana to a US pet store.
Transmission between humans
The majority of the infection clusters in the present outbreak appear to have no direct travel linkages to African nations where the virus is widespread among wild animals. This shows that monkeypox is mostly transferred from person to person.
The virus’s exact mode of transmission is unknown, however it is thought to enter the body through broken skin, the respiratory tract, or the eyes, nose, or mouth.
Human-to-human transmission happens mostly through close contact with an infected person.
In early 2022, a cluster of cases was discovered among males who had intercourse with other men, causing a stigma, and monkeypox was incorrectly characterised as a “gay disease” — or as solely infecting same-sex couples.
According to the WHO, the virus can spread through any group of people who are in close touch.
It is also unknown whether the virus can be transmitted especially through sexual contact.
How to Avoid Transmission
Anyone who has had contact with infected people should take precautions, such as doctors and health care personnel or people who have confirmed instances of monkeypox among their friends or relatives.
According to the WHO, the following are the most critical things to take to avoid transmission:
Avoid skin contact with infected individuals.
When having sex, always use a condom and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water.
Cough and sneeze into your arm crook.
How immunisation against smallpox protects against monkeypox
Many people over the age of 50 received smallpox (also known as variola virus) vaccinations as children. Smallpox exhibits symptoms similar to monkeypox, although it is currently thought to be eradicated due to the vaccine.
According to doctors, the smallpox immunisation has an 85 percent efficiency against monkeypox. Even if it does not prevent infection, they claim that persons who have been inoculated are better protected against a severe infection.
Many nations have authorised the smallpox vaccination Imvanex for protection against monkeypox. However, it is currently not recommended as a monkeypox prophylaxis for the general public, but rather for selected risk populations.
Vaccination is recommended in following instances by the German Standing Commission on Vaccination (STIKO):
For those who have had intimate touch with an infected individual
For persons who are at a higher risk of monkeypox, such as males who have sex with men or those who change partners frequently, or laboratory professionals who study monkeypox specimens
The immunisation is given in two doses. They are given by doctors at least 28 days apart. One dosage is enough to boost the existing immune response in at-risk persons who were vaccinated against smallpox as children.
Those who become unwell must remain alone
Monkeypox can affect anyone who develops symptoms such as a rash, fever, or joint and muscle pain. Those who are affected should contact their doctor and the local health authorities as away.
Individuals who are infected must isolate themselves from others until the rash clears. This process can take up to four weeks. In most situations, the condition progresses slowly.