Health officials say seven cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in London and north-east England, with just one linked to overseas travel. Current evidence suggests the rare disease may be spreading in the local community, according to UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).
The spread of this virus, if it happens, is likely to extend beyond the UK and affect people in other countries, US health officials warned on Tuesday (May 17). ), according to STAT. This concern was corroborated on Wednesday, when two other European countries announced suspected and confirmed cases of the disease, STAT reported on May 18. These countries include Spain, where eight potential cases are under investigation, and Portugal, where five cases have been confirmed and more than a dozen possible cases. has been determined.
Monkeypox is a rare infection caused by a poxvirus that belongs to the same family and resembles the variola bacteria. viruscause of smallpox, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The initial infection causes fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, and swollen lymph nodes; The rash then appears on the face and spreads throughout the body, eventually developing discolored patches, blisters, scabs, and raised bumps on the skin. In Africa, where the disease is endemic, the infection is fatal in about 10% of cases, but in most cases the illness remains mild and resolves in about 2-4 weeks.
According to the CDC, historically, cases of smallpox in monkeys outside Africa have been linked to international travel or the importation of animals. (African rodents and non-human primates can carry the virus.) However, the origin of six non-travel-related infections in the UK remains a mystery and it is not clear whether the New cases discovered in Spain and Portugal are linked to the UK or not infection, according to STAT.
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“This is rare and unusual,” Dr Susan Hopkins, UKHSA’s chief medical adviser, said in a statement released on Monday (May 16). “UKHSA is rapidly investigating the source of these infections as evidence suggests there may be community transmission of monkeypox virus, which is spread by close contact.”
In general, monkeypox virus does not spread easily from person to person, but can enter the body through contact with broken skin. Respiratory or mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, or mouth, according to the CDC. Person-to-person transmission is thought to occur primarily through large respiratory droplets, that is, droplets of saliva and mucus contaminated with virus particles.
“Respiratory droplets typically cannot travel more than a few feet, so prolonged face-to-face contact is required” for transmission to occur, the CDC said. However, people can also contract the virus from contaminated objects, especially clothing and bedding, or from contact with contaminated bodily fluids with stretch marks.
Earlier in the month, on 7 May, UKHSA reported a travel-related case of monkeypox; in that case, the infected person was infected while in Nigeria, mentioned agency. UKHSA has been working with the National Health Service (NHS) to notify people who may have been in close contact with an infected person; they have identified no additional cases through this investigation.
Following the discovery of this travel-related infection, UKHSA identified two people in a London household who had also contracted smallpox in monkeys; however, these infections were not related to the original travel-related case, UKHSA has announced on May 14. Then, on May 16, the agency reported four more cases of monkeypox – three in London and one in Newcastle – unrelated to any school. any previous case.
“Investigations are underway to establish a link between the four latest cases, who appear to have all been infected in London,” the UKHSA statement said. “All four of these cases identified themselves as gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men.” To date, common contacts have been identified for two of these four cases.
The overall risk of infection with the virus remains low, as pathogens need long-term close contact to spread, according to the UKHSA statement, according to the UKHSA statement. However, “we strongly urge gay and bisexual men to be aware of any unusual rashes or lesions and to contact sexual health care immediately,” Hopkins said.
(Spain’s El País news agency reported that eight suspected cases in Spain were intentionally flagged at a clinic that treats sexually transmitted diseases.)
As the UK launched an investigation into the country’s cases of monkeypox, CDC officials raised concerns that there could be multiple chains of transmission spreading across the country, with only a few. of which were discovered, STAT reported.
Dr Jennifer McQuiston, a senior CDC official, told STAT: “You have two clusters that have no connection to travel or to other people known to be related to a public outbreak. received. earlier this week. “If there seem to be unidentified chains of transmission, it makes us think with caution: Could this be spreading outside of the UK?” Now, yes. reason to believe it is so.
McQuiston told STAT to watch out for potential spread to the United States, the CDC may issue warnings to healthcare facilities and especially clinics that treat sexually transmitted diseases.
Originally published on Live Science.
https://www.livescience.com/monkeypox-outbreak-europe Rare monkeypox infections detected in several European countries