How to stop monkeypox? WHO expert lists key measures -

How to stop monkeypox? WHO expert lists key measures

The monkeypox virus has been reported in around 30 countries where the infection is not endemic in what is the biggest outbreak of the virus. More than 780 confirmed or suspected infections of the virus have been reported, most of which are in Europe.

As the cases rise, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued new guidelines and measures to prevent the virus from spreading. Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, a WHO epidemiologist, detailed a list of key measures to stop monkeypox after studying the virus epidemiology, sources of infection, and transmission patterns.

The senior health officer suggested increasing surveillance in countries where the virus is not endemic and urged creating awareness about what monkeypox is and how it spreads, especially in countries like the US, Canada, Australia, Germany, and France. The global health body called on governments to ensure that people who are expected to be affected can get appropriate clinical care.

The second step in order to stop the spread of this virus is to stop human-to-human contraction in several non-endemic countries by using public health tools of early identification, which includes isolating cases and talking and listening to communities to find solutions.

Monkeypox belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae. (Photo: Reuters)

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove further said that the protection of frontline workers is also important because they are the ones who work at ground level and directly provide services to the public. “It is crucial to supply them with accurate information and appropriate personal protective equipment. Counter measures against this virus should be utilised properly by providing antivirals and vaccines appropriately to those who are more at risk in an equal manner,” Dr. Kerkhove said.

WHO is hosting a research and development meeting next week that will cover everything from epidemiology to diagnostics, treatments, and vaccinations, since it is essential to understand what monkeypox is.

Also Read | Govt issues guidelines to prevent monkeypox outbreak

While no confirmed cases have been reported in India, a 5-year-old girl’s sample was collected for monkeypox testing in Ghaziabad. Meanwhile, Genetic analysis of recent monkeypox cases suggests there are two distinct strains in the US. Many of the U.S. cases were caused by the same strain as recent cases in Europe, but a few samples show a different strain, federal health officials said.

Monkeypox belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae which also includes variola virus (which causes smallpox), vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox virus. Monkeypox typically causes fever, chills, rash, and lesions on the face or genitals. WHO estimates the disease is fatal for up to one in 10 people.

Also Read | Will monkeypox cause Covid-like pandemic?

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