Health Rare monkeypox outbreak in U.K., Europe and U.S.: What is it and should we worry? (UPDATED)

tom_mai78101

The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host
Staff member
There's a monkeypox outbreak in the United Kingdom, Portugal and Spain. The outbreak is quite small — just 36 suspected cases spread across the three countries, including eight in England and 20 in Portugal. A case in the U.S. has also been reported.

But health officials have little clue where people caught the monkeypox virus. And there's concern the virus may be spreading through the community — undetected — and possibly through a new route of transmission.

"This [outbreak] is rare and unusual," epidemiologist Susan Hopkins, who's the chief medical adviser of the U.K. Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said in a statement on Monday.

"Exactly where and how they [the people] acquired their infections remains under urgent investigation," the agency said in the statement.

Monkeypox can be a nasty illness; it causes fever, body aches, enlarged lymph nodes and eventually "pox," or painful, fluid-filled blisters on the face, hands and feet. One version of monkeypox is quite deadly and kills up to 10% of people infected. The version currently in England is milder. Its fatality rate is less than 1%. A case generally resolves in two to four weeks.

Typically, people catch monkeypox from animals in West Africa or central Africa and import the virus to other countries. Person-to-person transmission isn't common, as it requires close contact with bodily fluids, such as saliva from coughing or pus from the lesions. So the risk to the general population is low, the U.K. health agency notes.

But in England, 7 of the 8 cases don't involve recent travel to Africa, suggesting the patients involved in those cases caught the virus in England. On top of that, those individuals haven't had contact with the one patient known to have traveled to Nigeria, the UKHSA reported Tuesday. Together, this data suggests the virus is spreading in the community undetected.

 

tom_mai78101

The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host
Staff member
LONDON (AP) — Scientists who have monitored numerous outbreaks of monkeypox in Africa say they are baffled by the disease’s recent spread in Europe and North America.

Cases of the smallpox-related disease have previously been seen only among people with links to central and West Africa. But in the past week, Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy, U.S., Sweden and Canada all reported infections, mostly in young men who hadn’t previously traveled to Africa.

France, Germany, Belgium and Australia confirmed their first cases of monkeypox on Friday.

“I’m stunned by this. Every day I wake up and there are more countries infected,” said Oyewale Tomori, a virologist who formerly headed the Nigerian Academy of Science and who sits on several World Health Organization advisory boards.

“This is not the kind of spread we’ve seen in West Africa, so there may be something new happening in the West,” he said.

Monkeypox typically causes fever, chills, a rash and lesions on the face or genitals. WHO estimates the disease is fatal for up to one in 10 people, but smallpox vaccines are protective and some antiviral drugs are also being developed.

One of the theories British health officials are exploring is whether the disease is being sexually transmitted. Health officials have asked doctors and nurses to be on alert for potential cases, but said the risk to the general population is low.

Source(s):

France, Germany, Belgium all have their first cases reported today.


United States:


Australia:


United Kingdom:

 

The Helper

Necromancy Power over 9000
Staff member
The new chicken pox. I am sure that this one will garner quite a bit of money to get a vaccine for. I guess the chicken pox vaccine was not enough, I never had chicken pox but i got the vaccine but I got Shingles. I wonder what Monkey pox will do in stage 2.

FYI, Shingles and Chicken Pox are herpes. Not the sexual herpes but in the same class. I wonder what Monkey Pox is?
 

tom_mai78101

The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host
Staff member
FYI, Shingles and Chicken Pox are herpes. Not the sexual herpes but in the same class. I wonder what Monkey Pox is?
It's on the same category as cowpox, but a bit milder. Seems to be different from chickenpox.
 

The Helper

Necromancy Power over 9000
Staff member
Monkeypox likely spread by sex at 2 raves in Europe

LONDON (AP) — A leading adviser to the World Health Organization described the unprecedented outbreak of monkeypox in developed countries as “a random event” that appears to have been caused by sexual activity at two recent raves in Europe.

Dr. David Heymann, who formerly headed WHO’s emergencies department, told The Associated Press that the leading theory to explain the spread of the disease was sexual transmission at raves held in Spain and Belgium. Monkeypox has not previously triggered widespread outbreaks beyond Africa, where it is endemic in animals.

“We know monkeypox can spread when there is close contact with the lesions of someone who is infected, and it looks like sexual contact has now amplified that transmission,” said Heymann.

That marks a significant departure from the disease’s typical pattern of spread in central and western Africa, where people are mainly infected by animals like wild rodents and primates and outbreaks have not spilled across borders.

 
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