WHO: Monkeypox cases are just the tip of the iceberg
World Health Organization WHO warns of many cases of disease monkey pox has not yet been diagnosed.
The hundreds of monkeypox cases diagnosed in the past month across Europe, North and South America, Israel, the UAE and Australia may be just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ – Director of Preparedness and Prevention Epidemics and Pandemics of WHOMs. Sylvie Briand warned on May 27.
RT quoted Ms. Briand as saying that there could be “many other cases that go undetected in the community”, because monkeypox does not immediately manifest with obvious symptoms. Infected people initially have similar symptoms flu fever, muscle aches and swollen lymph nodes, followed by a chickenpox-like rash on the face and body. Although there is no known cure to date, the virus that causes monkeypox usually goes away within two to four weeks.
Despite declaring “there will be more cases in the coming days”, Ms Briand reassured people not to panic and stressed “this is not a disease that the public should worry about. It is not COVID-19 or other rapidly spreading diseases”. While WHO is still working to determine the exact origin of the recent monkeypox outbreak, there is no indication that the virus that causes it has mutated or become more deadly.
The WHO convened an emergency meeting last week to discuss the monkeypox outbreak, which began earlier this month, is likely to occur in the UK among people who have traveled to Nigeria. Monkeypox is endemic in western and central Africa, although its presence outside the continent is considered rare.
WHO official Maria van Kerkhove confirmed that the majority of cases detected outside of Africa were in men who had sex with men, and initial reports of outbreaks in Belgium and Spain are related to gay festivals in these countries. Gay dating app Grindr sent out a message to European and UK users earlier this week warning of the outbreak and encouraging patients to seek treatment if they experience symptoms.
According to WHO, more than 200 cases of monkeypox have been diagnosed in 20 countries around the world, the majority in the UK. Belgium last week became the only country to declare a mandatory 21-day quarantine for those infected. Regional Director Europe WHO’s Hans Kluge, expressed concern that the disease could spread rapidly during the summer holiday season, given the sexually transmitted nature of most confirmed cases.
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