Given the cases of monkeypox that have been detected in some countries of the world, the World Health Organization warned that it is very likely that more infections will continue to appear in the coming days.
“The situation is evolving such that the WHO believes there will be more cases of monkeypox being identified as surveillance is extended in non-endemic countries.”the organization said in an epidemiological note.
So far 92 cases have been confirmed and there are 28 suspects.
Current information indicates that those who are most at risk of contagion are those who have close physical contact with someone who is infected and has symptoms.
Of the reported cases, it has not been possible to establish that any of those affected have been in an endemic area for this disease and the disease has been identified mainly (although not exclusively) among men who have sex with other men.
“The identification of confirmed or suspected cases without travel links to endemic areas is a very unusual event”
The WHO said it is working on guidelines to protect front-line health workers and other health workers who may be more exposed than others, such as those involved in cleaning tasks.
Genomic sequence obtained from a swab from a case in Portugal has revealed a similarity to the smallpox virus exported from Nigeria and which caused outbreaks in the UK, Israel and Singapore between 2018 and 2019.
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a zoonosis (virus transmitted to humans by animals) and its symptoms are similar to those seen in the past among smallpox patients, although with less severity.
Its transmission takes place through contact with wounds, body fluids, droplets and contaminated material, such as bedding, and its incubation period is usually from six to thirteen days, although it can go up to 21 days.
Immunity against this disease is very low among the young population in view of the fact that the group under 40 or 50 years of age has not received the smallpox vaccine. and the virus has not been present in non-endemic countries.
The endemic countries are: Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana (here it has only been identified among animals), Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Brazaville), Sierra Leone and Sudan from the south.