Monkeypox spreads across the globe, experts warn over further rise in cases

Israel reports first case of monkeypox, suspects others

Prime News, International, Health, Disease, London/ Geneva, May 23:-As rare monkeypox infection spreads in different parts of the world, experts are concerned and are on high alert as they analyse and understand the recent surge in cases. Experts are trying to understand how the virus is getting transmitted as cases continue to rise.
British scientists have issued a warning that more monkeypox cases will be detected in the coming days, The Guardian reported, quoting Charlotte Hammer, who is a Cambridge University expert on emerging diseases.

“I am certain that we are going to see more cases. First, health authorities are now – very actively – looking for cases, so we are more likely to spot people with mild versions which we might previously have missed or misdiagnosed,” Hammer said as quoted by The Guardian. 

“In addition, monkeypox has an incubation period of between one and three weeks so it is likely we will see new infections among those who were in early contact with the outbreak’s first cases,” he added. 

The media outlet also quoted Prof Keith Neal, of Nottingham University, who said, “Has the virus changed? Well it does not actually appear to be any more lethal, though something may have affected its transmissibility.”

“And don’t forget this is a DNA virus and is unlikely to mutate at the rates that RNA viruses do, including those that cause Covid or HIV. Overall, I am not too worried,” he added.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) also said that it expects to identify more cases. The global health body said, adding it will provide further guidance and recommendations in the coming days for countries on how to mitigate the spread of monkeypox.

The agency added, “Available information suggests that human-to-human transmission is occurring among people in close physical contact with cases who are symptomatic.”

Experts are concerned due to the multiple cases because monkeypox is an uncommon disease as its outbreaks mostly occur in west and central Africa. Occasionally it spreads elsewhere.

The Monkeypox illness usually causes symptoms of fever, muscle aches and swollen lymph nodes. Chickenpox-like rashes are also found on the hands and face.

In Tel Aviv, Israeli authorities say they have detected the country’s first case of monkeypox in a man who returned from abroad and were looking into other suspected cases.

Israel’s Health Ministry said late Saturday (May 21) the man was in a Tel Aviv hospital in good condition. It called on anyone returning from abroad with fever and lesions to see a doctor.

Sharon Alroy-Preis, the head of public health services at the ministry, told Israeli Army Radio Sunday that medical teams were investigating other suspected monkeypox cases.

Israel’s case appeared to be the first identified in the Middle East.

The World Health Organisation has identified about 80 cases globally, and roughly 50 more suspected cases.

Cases of the smallpox-related disease have previously been seen only among people with links to central and West Africa. But Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the United States, Sweden and Canada all reported infections, mostly in young men who hadn’t previously travelled to Africa. France, Germany, Belgium and Australia have also identified cases.

The virus originates in primates and other wild animals, and causes fever, body aches, chills and fatigue in most patients. People with severe cases can develop a rash and lesions on the face, hands and other parts of the body. (Inputs: Agencies, AP/ NGB)

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