WHO says monkeypox will unlikely become a pandemic – Doha News

Qatar has not recorded any monkeypox cases to date.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that it remains unlikely that the monkeypox turns into a pandemic, according to the Associated Press (AP)

“At the moment, we are not concerned about a global pandemic,” said Dr. Rosamund Lewis, WHO’s head of the smallpox team, noting that some factors remain unknown, including the way the disease spreads.

The WHO is also looking into the possible impact of the suspension of immunisation of the smallpox disease decades ago on the spread of the monkeypox.

“It’s very important to describe this because it appears to be an increase in a mode of transmission that may have been under-recognized in the past,” said Dr Lewis.

The WHO had previously reported that “cases have mainly but not exclusively been identified amongst men who have sex with men seeking care in primary care and sexual health clinics.” Dr Lewis warned that anyone could be at risk of getting the disease, regardless of their sexual orientation.

The virus spreads through close physical contact, making it easier to contain  through precautionary measures, such as self-isolation and proper hygiene.

Global infections

The statements made by the health official comes amid increasing global panic regarding the outbreak of another pandemic.

Last week, Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said that no local cases of monkeypox were reported. It also said that it is monitoring the global and regional epidemiological situation to ensure the smooth management of potential infection.

The local health ministry also carried out a series of public health measures for early detection of the virus.

Meanwhile, the WHO said that 23 countries reported more than 250 cases. Those same countries have not experienced monkeypox in the past. The UK also announced 71 new cases on Monday, the UAE reported three additional cases after reporting its first infection last week.

According to Qatar’s MoPH, Monkeypox is a viral infection that mainly occurs in the tropical rainforest regions of Central and West Africa. The virus was first discovered in 1958, with the first human case reported in Africa in 1970.

Some of the common symptoms of the virus include fever, a chickenpox-like rash, swollen lymph nodes, and other health complications. The symptoms of monkeypox are also milder than those of the smallpox, with both viruses belonging to the same family.

The recovery period can range between two to four weeks without the need for hospitalisation. Despite this, the virus can be seen as occasionally deadly.

The WHO is still carrying out epidemiological investigations to get a more in-depth understanding of the disease.

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