Monkeypox now suspected in UK, Spain and Portugal - here's what you need to know - National |  Globalnews.ca

Monkeypox now suspected in UK, Spain and Portugal – here’s what you need to know – National | Globalnews.ca

Cases of monkeypox are emerging in the United Kingdom, Spain and Portugal, raising concerns about further transmission of the monkeypox virus.

Health officials in Spain issued a national alert today to “ensure a prompt, coordinated and timely response” after eight men began showing symptoms of the viral infection.

These cases have not yet been officially confirmed, and a spokesperson for the Regional Health Ministry in Madrid said the National Microbiology Center is working to establish a final diagnosis.

The United Kingdom announced on Monday that it had discovered four more cases of monkeypox, bringing the total number of infections in the country to seven. The first case was discovered in the UK on 4 May.

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In Portugal, five cases of monkeypox were found, with another 15 people tested. The national authorities said that the condition of all those infected was stable, and that all 20 cases were among men living in Lisbon and the Tagus Valley.

It is unlikely that monkeypox will spread significantly, but wider transmission “cannot be ruled out,” said Fernando Simon, an epidemiologist who leads the health emergency center in Spain.

The UK’s Health Security Agency said in a press release that monkeypox is “usually a mild self-limiting disease” that does not spread easily.

“The risk to the UK population is low.”

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What is monkeypox?

Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). After one to three days of fever, monkeypox patients can develop a facial rash that then spreads to other parts of the body in the form of lesions that later fall off, the organization says.

The incubation period for monkeypox is usually seven to 14 days, but can range from five to 21 days.

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While there is no cure for the virus, most people recover from monkeypox infection within a few weeks. In Africa, where the disease is most prevalent, up to 1 in 10 people die after contracting the virus.

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How does it move?

“In general, monkeypox is spread by respiratory transmission, but the characteristics of the eight suspected cases indicate liquid contact,” a spokesman for the Ministry of Health in Madrid said.

The eight suspected cases in Madrid are among men who have sex with men. They are doing well but this disease may require hospital treatment.”

Matteo Prochaska, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), confirmed that four people diagnosed with monkeypox in the UK are gay or bisexual. This suggests that the disease “spreads in sexual networks,” Prochazka says.

“This also points to the fact that common contacts were identified in only two of the last four cases,” he added in a tweet on Twitter. He said contracting the disease through sexual contact is a “new mode of transmission”.

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Prochazka asserts that monkeypox is spread through close contact, and there is not enough evidence to prove that the virus has mutated into a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

“Close contact between two people (such as during sex) can also facilitate transmission – but this has not been described before.”

The UKHSA warns gay and bisexual men to “be aware” of any rashes or lesions, and recommends contacting a sexual health clinic if symptoms develop.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says monkeypox can also be transmitted from animals to humans through bites, scratches, bushmeat preparation, and direct contact with bodily fluids or pests.

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Why did monkeypox return?

Monkeypox was first identified in 1958 after researchers identified two outbreaks of smallpox-like disease among the monkeys they were using as test subjects. The first human case of monkeypox did not come until 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since then, monkeypox has been detected in many other Central and West African countries.

The first case of monkeypox in Europe during this latest disease appeared in the UK on 4 May.

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The first time that monkeypox was reported outside of Africa was during the 2003 outbreak in the United States, in which 47 people were infected or suspected to have had monkeypox after contact with infected prairie dogs.

Jennifer McCuston, a senior CDC official, said the department is considering issuing a health alert to medical professionals and clinics in the United States.

“There is a lot of travel between the UK and the US and other global regions. So I think our concern is that since there are four cases of MSM we might need to consider messaging our STI clinics… About what to look for, and what to pay attention to she said via Stat News.

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“This is definitely a population that has been stigmatized for sexually transmitted diseases like HIV in the past. And I think we learned a little from those experiences about how to deal with the kind of sensitivity it takes.”

Prochazka also spoke of the need to pay attention to the discourse about monkeypox that could lead to stigma.

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McKeston confirmed that there are currently no cases of monkeypox in the US, but that six US citizens are being monitored for symptoms because they were on the same flight as the man who had the first case in the UK.


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2022-05-18 15:27:37

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