Home WorldAfrica Be alert! WHO has Designated Monkeypox as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern

Be alert! WHO has Designated Monkeypox as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern

by Amélie Poulain
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WHO announced on the 23rd that monkeypox was listed as a public health emergency of international concern, and it was listed on the highest alert level with COVID-19 and polio. As of yesterday, there have been more than 18,000 cases from 75 countries around the world. The number of diagnosed in the United States has exceeded one thousand in a single day, and San Francisco declared a state of emergency on August 1.


The World Health Organization declared monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern on July 23.
(Screenshot via who.int)

Taipei, TAIWAN (Merxwire) –WHO officially announced on the 23rd that monkeypox has been listed as a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC), which means that the monkeypox epidemic has been highly concerned by the World Health Organization and has been listed on the highest alert level after COVID-19 and polio. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, mentioned in his report that there have been more than 16,000 cases in 75 countries and five deaths.

WHO believes that the epidemic has begun to spread globally and deserves international attention. Currently, the most dangerous areas are European, while other areas are classified as medium risk. However, as business and tourism flows begin to recover, there is still a risk of spreading. At present, vaccine research and development will be accelerated, and high-risk areas and groups will be vaccinated and restrictive measures will be taken to prevent the spread of the virus. It is hoped that the spread of the epidemic will be stopped by the correct preventive measures implemented early.Possible Causes of Olfactory Disorders

Dr. Anne Rimoin, a professor of epidemiology at UCLA who has been studying monkeypox for more than 20 years at the République démocratique du Congo, warned about the spread of the monkeypox virus. She suggested that everyone should take a cautious approach to monkeypox outbreaks because when the virus enters a country or city with rich resources, a dense population, and convenient transportation, the speed of transmission will be more alarming and uncontrolled.

The monkeypox virus has spread to 46 states in the United States with more than 4,600 infections, and New York City is the worst.
(Photo via pixabay.com)

The monkeypox virus has spread to 46 states in the United States with more than 4,600 infections. New York City is the worst because there are more than 800 infected. San Francisco has declared a state of emergency starting August 1 on July 28 because 30 percent of cases in California were in San Francisco. People have begun to rush to get vaccines, but the current supply of vaccines is in short supply. The U.S. government is also evaluating whether to declare monkeypox a public health emergency within the United States.

Monkeypox is a zoonotic infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus, which can be transmitted from animals to humans or from humans to humans. Common symptoms include headache, soreness, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, and weakness. The infection starts with a fever, followed by a rash that usually spreads from the face to the body. The rash can be very itchy, often scratching the skin and leaving a wound or scar. Symptoms last about 2 to 3 weeks, and your doctor will prescribe antipyretics or pain relievers to help reduce symptoms.

The monkeypox virus was first discovered in a reared monkey in 1958. Since 1970, it has appeared in 10 countries in Africa one after another. There was an outbreak in the United States in 2003 with 81 cases. It was the first time occurred outside Africa and the source of infection was groundhogs. Nigeria had its largest outbreak on record in 2017 having about 200 confirmed cases and six deaths.

The route of virus transmission includes close and intimate contact between people, allowing the virus to enter the human body from skin wounds, respiratory tract, or mucosal tissues of the eyes, mouth, and nose. It is also possible to get infected from contact with contaminated items such as towels, clothing, or sheets. Another route of infection is by infected animals such as monkeys and mice.

Monkeypox virus was first discovered in a reared monkey and began to appear in African countries in 1970. (Photo via unsplash.com)

The only vaccine currently available to prevent monkeypox is the smallpox vaccine “Imvanex” produced by Bavarian Nordic in Denmark. Since the CDC report indicated that the smallpox vaccine is 85% effective in preventing monkeypox, the FDA approved this vaccine for the prevention and treatment of both smallpox and monkeypox and approved the use of the “Jynneos” brand in 2019.

This vaccine can be administered to adults over the age of 18, and two doses are required with an interval of 4 weeks. The EU originally only opened this vaccine for the prevention of smallpox, but when WHO declared monkeypox as PHEIC, and about 70 percent of the cases occurred in Europe, the EU opened up the off-label use method for monkeypox prevention and treatment.

In addition to the United States and Europe, the countries with monkeypox cases in Asia are South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, and India. Although there are not many diagnosed in Taiwan at present, it should not be taken lightly. Experts suggest that the following five groups are at risk, including young children, pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems, people with special intimate relationships, and those who are prone to eating infected meat. Vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin D can be supplemented in the diet to enhance immunity, protect skin and mucous membranes, and reduce the chance of inflammation and infection.

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