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Rare Monkeypox cases outside of Africa spark alarm

The European and American health authorities have recently identified cases of monkeypox among young men outside Africa.

The cases sparked alarm for the authorities as the disease is usually contained within Africa and is now spread among patients with no travel history to Africa.

In Europe, the infections were reported in Britain, Italy, Sweden, Spain, and Portugal.

In the US, the case was reported of a man who recently travelled to Canada.

Britain’s Health Security Agency reported that the cases were not connected and there may be multiple chains of transmission simultaneously happening.

The health authorities, however, stressed that there is a low risk to the general population.

Monkeypox is identified to be of the same virus family as smallpox but with milder symptoms.

The disease symptoms can be identified as fever, body aches, chills, and fatigue.

Serious cases include rash and lesions on the face and hands that may spread to other parts of the body.

The disease incubation period lasts from five days to three weeks and people could recover within two to three weeks without the need to be hospitalized.

The fatality of the monkeypox is one to 10 people and can be more severe in children’s cases.

Monkeypox is a virus originating from wild animals such as rodents and primates, and occasionally infects people.

The virus is endemic or restricted in central and west Africa and was named after its first pox-like outbreaks in research monkeys in 1958.

The common transmission of the virus is close contact with infected people including their body fluids and their clothing or bedsheets.

There is no given treatment for the disease but the people exposed to monkeypox are given several smallpox vaccines.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has recommended all suspected cases be isolated while the high-contacts be given a smallpox vaccine.

Anti-viral drugs are currently being developed.

Experts say that origin of infection in European cases may be too early to determine at the moment. KSO/Expat Media


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