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Monkeypox virus, spreading worldwide, is a global concern

New infections are being reported from different countries when the world is still under the covid-19 crisis. The World Health Organization (WHO) had stated that since the current spate of infections began, i.e., on May 7, a total of 131 confirmed cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in 19 countries, and around 106 suspected cases had been reported. It is one of the most significant outbreaks of the virus outside West Africa, where it has been emerging for years. 


In 1980, smallpox was eradicated worldwide with the help of vaccination. But monkeypox continues to occur in countries like Central and West Africa. At times, the infection has shown up in other countries as well. WHO says that two distinct clades are identified for the disease, i.e., the West African clade and the Congo basin or central African clade. 


Countries like the US, the UK, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, and Italy have reported cases of the monkeypox virus. India has not reported any case of the virus as of now. The monkeypox virus belongs to the orthopoxvirus, a genus of viruses in the family Poxviridae. It includes the variola virus that causes smallpox and the vaccinia virus used in the smallpox vaccine. The symptoms of monkeypox are similar to smallpox but less severe. 


Monkeypox is a zoonosis, infection, or disease transmissible from infected animals to humans. According to the US Based Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the virus enters the body through mucous membranes, broken skin, or the respiratory tract. It may occur by scratch or bite, direct contact with body fluids, meat from wildlife species, or indirect contact with brushed material such as contaminated bleeding. 


Human to human transmission is restricted. However, scientists are looking into human-to-human transmission amid the rising cases of the virus. A World Health Organisation (WHO) has also speculated sexual relations at two recent raves in Europe may be the reason for spreading the virus. 


According to the WHO, the symptoms of monkeypox are fever, rashes, and swollen lymph nodes, which may also lead to some medical complications. Also, there is no safe treatment for monkeypox and treats patients depending on symptoms. 


By TIS Staffer
the authorBy TIS Staffer

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