WHO fears community spread of Monkeypox, India says is prepared | 8 top points

Updated on May 27, 2022 06:23 PM IST
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that the priority needs to be on containing the disease in non-endemic countries.
Monkeypox outbreak | Representational image(via REUTERS)
Monkeypox outbreak | Representational image(via REUTERS)
Written by Manjiri Sachin Chitre | Edited by Aryan Prakash

More than 200 confirmed or suspected cases of Monkeypox have been reported from 20 countries, the World Health Organisation said on Friday. The countries in Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Americas have been reporting infections. A senior official from the global health body feared there will be a community spread of Monkeypox, Reuters reported.

Sylvie Briand, WHO director for Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness, said that the disease was ‘containable’ if the right measures are put now. 

In India, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said that the government is prepared in wake of the increasing cases in the countries.  Dr Aparna Mukherjee, an ICMR scientist, has urged people with a travel history to the Monkeypox-affected countries, and those showing symptoms like fever and body-ache, to get themselves tested.

Also read: Monkeypox signs and symptoms in kids to watch out for

Here are the latest developments on the monkeypox virus:

1. ICMR scientist Dr Aparna Mukherjee told news agency ANI that Monkeypox cases are being detected in non-endemic European countries and the United States but said people should not panic. "We should observe the unusual symptoms like high fever, a lot of lymphadenopathies, large lymph nodes, body ache, rashes, etc, especially those who have travel history from infected countries."

2. A medical devices firm named  Trivitron Healthcare said it has developed a real-time PCR-based kit for the detection of Monkeypox (Orthopoxvirus) virus, PTI reported .Research works are currently underway to further understand the epidemiology, sources of spread, and the patterns of transmission of the virus. Trivitron has 15 manufacturing facilities in India, USA, Finland, Turkey and China to roll out medical technology products.

3. WHO officials have also said there is no need for mass vaccination against the Monkeypox virus at present, but targeted vaccination is available for those who have had close contact with infected people.

READ: Nearly 200 cases of monkeypox in more than 20 countries: WHO

4. The European Union is working on a common purchasing agreement for the vaccines and antivirals against Monkeypox, Reuters reported. The EU is in talks to buy Bavarian Nordic's vaccine Imvanex as well as the antiviral, tecovirimat, developed by U.S.-based SIGA Technologies.

5. With one of Europe's largest gay pride celebrations right around the corner, Spain's LGBTQ community is worried that the outbreak of Monkeypox on the continent could lead to an increase in homophobic sentiment based on misunderstanding of the disease, the Associated Press reported.

6. Finland on Friday confirmed its first case of Monkeypox and Canada has reported 10 new infections, bringing its total to 25. The United States has also confirmed nine additional cases in seven states. The total number of infections in the US is up at 11 since the first was discovered on May 18.

7. Argentina reported the first confirmed case of Monkeypox virus in Latin America. The patient had recently travelled to Spain, but health authorities are waiting to finish the sequencing the virus before an official announcement, AP reported.

8. The United States has confirmed nine Monkeypox cases across seven states. The officials in the United States said they have already begun mobilising to get treatments to the states where Monkeypox cases have been identified. Jennifer McQuiston, the deputy director of the CDC’s Division of High Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, said that doses of the Jynneos vaccine arrived Sunday in Massachusetts, where the first US Monkeypox case was identified.

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