Can we stop the spread of monkeypox?

LONDON (AP) — More than 31,000 monkeypox cases have been reported in nearly 90 countries since May.

The World Health Organization has warned that the spread of this once-rare disease international emergency In July; the United States declared it national emergency last week.

Outside of Africa, 98% of cases are men who have sex with men.alone Limited global supply of vaccineauthorities are racing to stop monkeypox before it takes hold as a new disease.

Can monkeypox be contained?

In theory, yes. The virus doesn’t spread easily and there is a vaccine. However, only about 16 million doses are currently available, and he is the only company capable of producing shots.

Outside of Africa, there is no evidence of persistent monkeypox transmission outside of men who have sex with men. Last week, British scientists “Early Signs” UK monkeypox cases — once world’s largest outbreak Out of Africa — peaked.

Is this another pandemic?

No. A pandemic means that an outbreak of disease has spread all over the world. Monkeypox doesn’t spread as quickly as the coronavirus, so it doesn’t need drastic interventions like COVID-19 lockdowns.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said there was still an opportunity to contain the disease before it became a global problem. He said it was to encourage people to accept it.

how does it spread?

monkeypox epidemic Skin-to-skin or skin-to-mouth contact with lesions of infected patients is usually required. It can also be transmitted through contact with the clothing or bedsheets of a person with monkeypox lesions.

It can also be spread by contact with respiratory dropletsbut scientists are still trying to understand how often it occurs.

Who is infected?

The majority of cases are seen in gay and bisexual men.The first outbreaks in Europe and North America were probably sex in two raves in Spain and Belgium.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 99% of monkeypox cases in the United States are men. Ninety-four percent of them reported having had sexual contact with other men in the three weeks before he developed symptoms.

Nonetheless, anyone can catch the virus through close contact with an infected person or cloth that has touched an infected person.

Who is vaccinated?

Due to limited supplies, health authorities do not recommend mass vaccination. They suggest vaccination for health care workers, people who have been in close contact with an infected person, and men who are at high risk of contracting monkeypox.

Officials are also looking to expand supplies of the vaccine, Jynneos. Two doses are required, but many places only give one dose.

U.S. health officials on Tuesday said new strategy This will allow medical professionals to vaccinate up to five people in each vial instead of one. This approach uses a fraction of the usual dose of the vaccine and administers it by injection just under the skin rather than in deeper tissues. The recipient will receive injections at intervals of two times a month.

What else can you do to lower your risk?

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus considers men at risk of monkeypox to make ‘safe choices’ reduce sexual partners “For now.”

Britain’s Health Security Agency has advised people to check themselves for monkeypox lesions before having sex or going to social events, and most of the country’s cases have been reported at festivals, saunas and other events. people with monkeypox lesions should be isolated until they are completely cured. This can take up to 3 weeks.

What is your connection with Africa?

Monkeypox has been endemic in some areas for decades. Central and West Africa, people mostly get sick after contact with infected wild animals such as rodents and squirrels.The acting director of Africa’s top public health agency said last week that sex between gay and bisexual men “It does not matter” Until the continental outbreak, about 40% of cases are women.

Scientists believe that monkeypox outbreaks in Europe and North America began in Africa long before the disease began to spread. Samples from European cases show dozens of mutations, suggesting that the initial virus had been quietly spreading for months or years before the current epidemic was detected.

The version of monkeypox circulating in Europe and North America is less deadly than the monkeypox circulating in Africa. At least 100 deaths are suspected in Africa this year, although cases have been reported.

Who is at higher risk for serious illness?

Most people who get monkeypox recover without treatment, but it can cause more serious symptoms such as inflammation of the brain and, in rare cases, death.

Monkeypox can be serious in children, pregnant women, and people with underlying medical conditions such as cancer, tuberculosis, and HIV. In the United States, according to the CDC, about 40% of monkeypox patients are also infected with HIV.

The longer the current outbreak lasts, the more likely it is that the virus will spread to other communities, similar to how HIV was first discovered in gay men before it became more widespread.

“Since there is some degree of intersection between the sexual networks of gay and bisexual men and those of sexually active heterosexuals, it is possible that monkeypox is more prevalent.” , says Dr Paul Hunter, University of Medicine, UK. East Anglia. “That could lead to bigger problems.”

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