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Monkeypox cases on the rise, outbreak reaches 23 countries: 5 updates

WHO stated that the sudden appearance of monkeypox at once in several non-endemic countries suggests undetected transmission for some time and recent amplifying events.

May 30, 2022 / 12:54 PM IST
Monkeypox causes fevers and skin lesions.

Monkeypox causes fevers and skin lesions.


The World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed that 257 confirmed cases and 120 suspected cases of monkeypox have been reported from 23 countries where the virus is not endemic.

The global health body stated it has received reports of 1,365 cases and 69 deaths due to the virus in five African countries where monkeypox is commonly found. These cases were reported from mid-December to late May.

Here are five updates about the rapidly spreading virus:

1.) The United Arab Emirates recorded three more cases of monkeypox, the health ministry said on Monday, nearly a week after announcing the Gulf state's first case of the virus.

The ministry did not reveal any details about the individuals infected. The first case was a 29-year-old woman visiting the country from West Africa.

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2.) Nigeria has confirmed 21 cases of monkeypox since the start of the year with one death reported, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said late on Sunday. The NCDC said out of 61 suspected cases of monkeypox reported since January, 21 had been confirmed with one death, that of a 40-year-old man.

"Among the 21 cases reported in 2022 so far, there has been no evidence of any new or unusual transmission of the virus, nor changes in its clinical manifestation documented (including symptoms, profile and virulence)," NCDC said.

Six of the cases were detected this month, it said.

3.) WHO stated that the sudden appearance of monkeypox at once in several non-endemic countries suggests undetected transmission for some time and recent amplifying events.

The agency added that it expects more cases to be reported as surveillance in endemic and non-endemic countries expands.


Read more: Can children get monkeypox? What are the symptoms


4.) WHO also said the global public health risk level due to monkeypox is moderate, "considering this is the first time that monkeypox cases and clusters are reported concurrently in widely disparate WHO geographical areas, and without known epidemiological links to non-endemic countries in West or Central Africa."

In its update, the agency added, "The public health risk could become high if this virus exploits the opportunity to establish itself as a human pathogen and spreads to groups at higher risk of severe disease such as young children and immunosuppressed persons."


5.) Tamil Nadu government has appealed to the members of public who arrive from various countries, including African nations, to report to the local health officer if they have any symptoms of monkeypox, Health Department principal secretary J Radhakrishnan said.


"We have received the interim guidelines from the Centre on the monkeypox disease. That is people arriving from African countries or Europe, Australia, Canada, and the USA, though did not show any symptom at the airport, but developed some symptoms within 21 days of their arrival, they have to report it to the local health official," he added.



(With inputs from agencies)
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first published: May 30, 2022 12:47 pm
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