The World Health Organization has announced that 80 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed worldwide, and 11 countries are currently experiencing an outbreak.
Experts are warning that the recent outbreaks of this virus may not be isolated to just one or two countries. The WHO has reported unusual cases due in part to unfamiliarity with infection rates outside their native regions, but experts believe there could still potentially be plenty more reports waiting over the coming days.
“WHO is working with the affected countries and others to expand disease surveillance to find and support people who may be affected and to provide guidance on how to manage the disease,” the agency said in a statement.
The recent developments show that the virus is spreading, with cases confirmed in Europe — the largest outbreak ever recorded. Meanwhile, one American citizen also fell ill, and two cases have been recorded in Canada so far.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that monkeypox is a disease from a virus coming from the same family as smallpox. While the effects are not severe, one out of ten people dies from the disease, according to data from Africa.
Monkeypox is spread through close contact with infected people or animals. The way the virus enters the body includes:
- respiratory tract
- broken skins
- muscle aches
- swollen lymph nodes
Within one to three days, infected individuals may have:
- high fever
- rashes starting from the face
The CDC said that high-risk individuals include:
- health care workers
- household members
- sexual partners
In a statement, WHO said, “As monkeypox spreads through close contact, the response should focus on the people affected and their close contacts.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recorded a case of monkeypox in Massachusetts. The patient recently traveled to Canada using a private car, according to records.
The United States is not new to the recent monkeypox outbreak. In 2003, this virus made its way into America, infecting over 70 people who were exposed through contact with prairie dogs.