Over the last couple of weeks Monkeypox has made a resurgence in the areas where it was not endemic. The new outbreak has taken scientists by surprise as they try to identify the root cause of the outbreak. ”As of 21 May, 13:00, 92 laboratory confirmed cases, and 28 suspected cases of monkeypox with investigations ongoing, have been reported to WHO from 12 Member States that are not endemic for monkeypox virus, across three WHO regions. No associated deaths have been reported to date,” World Health Organization update.
Monkeypox is a rare disease which is also a viral zoonosis. The symptoms are very similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although it is clinically less severe. Zoonosis refers to a virus that is transmitted to humans from animals. Fever, headaches, swelling, aching muscles, exhaustion, itchy skin and lesions are some of the symptoms. The disease can be spread when someone is in close contact with an infected person or animal. Other studies disclose that touching clothing or bedding of an infected person can leave you exposed to the virus. The virus can enter the body through broken skin, or through the eyes, nose or mouth. Currently there is no specific vaccine for monkeypox but a small pox jab offers 85% protection from the virus due to its similarities.
President Biden shared his first sentiments on the disease during a visit at the Osan Air Base in South Korea. Where he shared, “It is a concern that if it were to spread it would be consequential.” He went on to add, “They haven’t told me the level of exposure yet but it is something that everybody should be concerned about.” He also shared that work was underway to determine what vaccine might be effective.