Monkeypox outbreak: 5 things to know about the disease
- Monkeypox cases have been reported in US, UK, Spain and other countries
- The disease can spread through sexual contact
- Mokeypox is usually found in central and west Africa
Monkeypox, a disease that is rarely found outside central and west Africa, has recently surfaced in multiple countries across Europe and northern America. The outbreak has created confusion amongst the masses as it is not widely known.
So far, at least six countries -- including the United States, Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom -- have reported recent outbreaks.
Also Read: What is monkeypox? All you need to know
Here are 5 things you should know about monkeypox:
Monkeypox can spread through sexual contact
Monkeypox has not previously been documented to have spread through sex, but it can be transmitted through close contact with infected people, their body fluids and their clothing or bedsheets.
Michael Skinner, a virologist at Imperial College London, said that, "sexual activity involves intimate contact, which one would expect to increase the likelihood of transmission, whatever a person’s sexual orientation and irrespective of the mode of transmission, Associated Press reported.
Symptoms are delayed but painful
Monkeypox symptoms usually surface roughly two weeks after an individual has been infected with the disease. Early symptoms include fever, headache, muscle ache, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion, according to the global vaccine alliance GAVI.
No cure is available but some vaccines work
The World Health Organization currently recommends no specific treatment for monkeypox, however, there are some old vaccines and medicines that work. Some countries, like the United States, have approved smallpox vaccines that can be used for boosting protection against monkeypox.
Monkeypox can spread through close contact
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said Thursday that the probability of transmission without close contact is low. But it warned that “the likelihood of further spread of the virus through close contact, for example during sexual activities, is considered to be high.”
Monkeypox is common but not in Europe and America
The World Health Organization estimates there are thousands of monkeypox infections in about a dozen African countries every year. Most are in Congo, which reports about 6,000 cases annually, and Nigeria, with about 3,000 cases a year.