The World Health Organization (WHO) Decided not to To declare monkey pox as a public health emergency of international concern. This may change in the future.
However, the teaching of Adhanum Gabrisus, Director General of the World Health Organization said He was deeply concerned about the growing risk of monkey pox, which he said has reached more than 50 countries.
there have been more than 4100 approved worldwide, including at least 13 in Australia.
The WHO also acknowledged that there were many unknowns about the outbreak.
Here are three things we need to know about monkey pox and three things we want to know.
We know three things
1. Monkey pox is caused by a virus
Monkey pox is a large DNA virus belonging to the orthopox family of viruses. Unlike the smallpox virus, smallpox, which only affects humans, the smallpox virus is found in rodents and other animals in parts of Africa.
We know of two classes (virus grouping), and it is more severe than the two groups currently circulating outside Africa.
Orthopoxviruses are stable viruses that do not have many mutations. However, numerous mutations Are described In the virus that has caused the current outbreak.
In the United States, at least two separate strains have been circulating, the show shows Multiple introductions To the country
2. You may be infected for more than a week and not know it
it takes time Average 8.5 days From infections to symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes, fever, and skin rashes that usually resemble fluid-filled blisters that erupt. People who have a rash are infected and usually stay infected for about two weeks.
Children are severely affected by this disease and the risk of death from this disease is higher. Historically, in Native African countries, Almost all deaths Have been in children.
It is an epidemic in Europe More in adult menTherefore, this, together with better access to care, may explain the low mortality rate in these countries.
3. We have vaccines and treatments
Australia has never had mass vaccination against smallpox. However, one Estimated 10% Australians have been vaccinated in the past, most of them immigrants.
Vaccines protect for years, but immunity is reduced. So Decreased protection at the population level Probably responsible for the resurgence of monkey pox, which has been observed since 2017 in Nigeria, one of Africa’s seven indigenous hotspots.
Mass vaccination is not recommended. But vaccines Can be given Contact approved cases (known as post-exposure prophylaxis) and people at high risk for the virus, such as some laboratory or health care staff (pre-exposure prevention).
There is also TreatmentsSuch as immunoglobulin vaccine and antiviral drugs. These are made against smallpox.
We want to discover three things
1. How important are these new mutations?
The virus that has caused the current outbreak Several mutations Compared to versions of the virus circulating in Africa. However, we do not know whether these mutations affect the clinical disease and how the virus is transmitted.
The smallpox virus has a Very large genomeThus, the study is more complex than smaller RNA viruses, such as the flu and SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes covitis).
Experts do not know whether the mutations made it more contagious or changed the clinical pattern to look more like a sexually transmitted infection. آ Study From Portugal shows that mutations may make the virus more transmissible.
2. How is it broadcast? Will this change?
Monkey pox has not been described in the past as a sexually transmitted infection. However, the current transfer pattern is unusual. There It seams A very short incubation period (24 hours) after sexual intercourse in some cases, but not in all cases.
It is a respiratory virus, so aerosol transmission is possible. But historically Most transmissions It was from animal to human. When there was transmission between humans, it usually involved close contact.
However, the rapid growth of the epidemic in non-native countries in 2022 was all due to the spread among humans. it is possible to be available Many more cases According to the official report
We do not know why this pattern has changed, whether it is sexually transmitted, or simply transmitted through intimate contact on specific, connected social networks around the world, or whether the virus has become more contagious.
The virus is present in skin rashes, mouth and semen, but this Does not prove It is sexually transmitted.
3. How far will it expand? Does Covid make a difference?
Is this widespread in society? Does the Covid epidemic increase the risk? Probably, yes.
Nor should we leave the ball to supervision in the wider community The stigma of the LGBTQI community.
Given the declining immunity to the smallpox vaccine worldwide and the spread of monkeypox in many countries now, we may see a further spread of the epidemic.
If it does and infects a large number of children, we could see more deaths because children get more severe infections.
Another factor is Covid. As people recover from COVID, so does their immune system Is disturbed. Therefore, people with Qovid may be more susceptible to other infections.
We see the same thing with measles infection. This weakens the immune system and increases the risk of other infections Two to three years after that
If an epidemic occurs in countries outside the native areas, it may infect animals and create new native areas in the world.
It is important that we do everything we can to prevent this epidemic.
The WHO warned of a “real” danger as the outbreak of monkey pox exceeded 1,000
quotationWHO (June 27, 2022) states: Monkey pox is not currently a global emergency.
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