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Monkeypox: WHO issues recommendations to keep yourself safe from the zoonotic disease

The key transmission routes include skin-to-skin, mouth-to-mouth, mouth-to-skin, and face-to-face contact through respiratory droplets and from contaminated surfaces or materials

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
June 29, 2022 3:50:43 pm
Monkey poxAn image created during an investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox, which took place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1996 to 1997, shows the hands of a patient with a rash due to monkeypox. (CDC/Brian W.J. Mahy/Handout via REUTERS /File Photo)

According to the World Health Organization, between  January 1 and June 22, 2022, “3413 laboratory-confirmed monkeypox cases and one death have been reported from 50 countries/territories in five WHO Regions.”

Describing monkeypox as a viral zoonotic disease (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms (though less severe) similar to those in smallpox patients, WHO said that “it occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of central and west Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions.” An antiviral agent developed for the treatment of smallpox has also been licensed for the treatment of monkeypox.

As per the organisation, the key transmission routes include skin-to-skin, mouth-to-mouth, mouth-to-skin, and face-to-face contact through respiratory droplets and from contaminated surfaces or materials. But it is not yet clear if the transmission is possible in asymptomatic cases.

The website also read, “In newly-affected countries, this is the first time that cases have mainly, but not exclusively, been confirmed among men who have had recent sexual contact with a new or multiple male* partners. ”

monkey Test tubes labelled “Monkeypox virus positive” are seen in this illustration. (Reuters)

Although the risk has been called out to be moderate but eyeing the concurrent increase in cases, the organisation has issued recommendations to the governments and the public on how to protect themselves from the disease during gatherings. No cases have been reported in India so far.

  • People with signs and symptoms consistent with monkeypox should refrain from close contact with any other individual, should avoid attending gatherings, and should follow advice issued by relevant health authorities.
  • Close contact, including sexual contact, with someone who has signs and symptoms consistent with monkeypox should be avoided.
  • Anyone who feels they may have been exposed to monkeypox should exercise additional care.
  • Information specifically designed for communities of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men is now available, including updated public health advice.
  • Gatherings attendees should always be reminded to apply individual-level responsibility to their decisions and actions, with the aim of preserving their health, that of the people they interact with, and ultimately that of their community.

The organisation also gave out guidelines for health authorities. “They are invited to identify those events in their jurisdiction that are most likely to be associated with risk of monkeypox virus transmission, based on the prevailing modes of transmission and the likely profile of the attendees; ensure that monkeypox is included among the diseases regularly reported through routine surveillance; make provision to ensure prompt isolation and adequate clinical management of identified cases; keep the general population and event organizers informed on the evolution of the outbreak, and adequately monitor and address rumours and misinformation about monkey pox,” the website read.

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📣 The above article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional for any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.

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First published on: 29-06-2022 at 03:50:43 pm

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