Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is a member of the Poxviridae family’s Orthopoxvirus genus. The Orthopoxvirus genus includes variola virus (which causes smallpox), vaccinia virus (which is used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox virus.
There are two strains: the Congo strain, which is more severe and can cause up to 10% mortality, and the West African strain, which causes 1% mortality.
Infections in the United Kingdom have been linked to a West African strain. In humans, the monkeypox virus causes fever and a bumpy rash. It is usually spread by wild animals, but it can also be spread by humans. A few cases of monkeypox have been reported or are suspected in the United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain, the United States, and Canada. Previously, only a small number of cases were exported. Prior to this year, it had only happened eight times.
According to the World Health Organization, the virus is primarily transmitted to humans by wild animals such as rodents and primates, but human-to-human transmission is also possible (WHO). Human-to-human transmission occurs through contact with lesions, bodily fluids, respiratory droplets, and contaminated materials such as bedding. Consuming raw or undercooked meat and other products from infected animals is also dangerous.
This time, health officials are baffled by the transmission because a number of cases in the United Kingdom have no known link. The first infected person was reported to have traveled to Nigeria on May 6. As a result, experts have issued a warning that if cases are not reported, the disease will spread even faster. The recent cases, according to the UK Health Security Agency’s alert, were mostly among gay or bisexual men, and people should be cautious.
One explanation for the increase in cases could be an increase in travel as COVID restrictions are lifted. Monkeypox, a milder disease, is related to smallpox, which was eradicated by vaccination in 1980. The vaccine against smallpox, which also protects against monkeypox, is no longer available. After the vaccination campaigns ended, there was an increase in monkeypox cases. Medical experts, on the other hand, have warned people not to panic because they do not expect a nationwide outbreak like COVID, but they have also stated that this is a serious outbreak that should not be overlooked.
In early May, cases of monkeypox were discovered in the United Kingdom, Spain, and Portugal. Nine cases have been reported in the United Kingdom. Portugal has identified five cases, and authorities are looking into another twenty. Canadian authorities are looking into at least 13 reported cases in Montreal. The Quebec Ministry of Health confirmed a confirmed case who visited the province. Spain issued a national alert after 23 people in Madrid developed symptoms. This year’s case is the first in the country, as a man in Massachusetts recently tested positive. He’d recently returned from a trip to Canada. According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the case poses no risk to the public, and the individual is hospitalized and in good condition. Sweden also reported its first case of monkeypox today.