World Health Organization says it is “not worried” about becoming monkey pox pandemic

De monkeypox virus is rarely seen outside Africa, so the recent outbreak of cases worldwide has caused concern among global health experts. But on Monday, the World Health Organization said it was unlikely this would become a pandemic.

Rosamund Lewis, who heads the smallpox secretariat of the WHO’s Emergencies Program, said at the moment, “We are not worried about a global pandemic.” However, she said bureau officials were concerned about the long list of strangers regarding monkey pox and the spread of the virus.

“We are concerned that individuals may get this infection through high risk exposure If they do not have the information they need to protect themselves, “Lewis said,” and we are concerned that because the world population has not been immune to orthopedic viruses since the end of the smallpox outbreak, the virus can try to exploit a niche and more easily spread among people. But we do not yet have the answer to that question. ”

Both smallpox and monkeypox belong to the same genus of virus, known as orthopoxvirus. Monkey pox is found in wild animals, and people who contract the virus can experience fever, headaches, body aches, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes. After a few days, those infected with the virus will develop a rash of increased blisters. It can spread from person to person through close personal contact.

Several U.S. states have begun to vaccinate at-risk residents against the virus, which has infected at least 435 people around the world since the beginning of May. Spain and the United Kingdom have the most infections.

Historically, Lewis said, “monkey pox does not transmit so easily between individuals,” which is what prompted officials to think it would not develop into a pandemic like COVID-19. The monkey pox virus, she explained, mutates “much more slowly.”

“We do not yet have much information about what the genomes of the viruses that are discovered in this epidemic of multiple countries really tell us, that has already been discussed that happens in circles of virologists working together and after these things. see. ”

According to Reuters, the WHO is considering whether monkey pox should be identified as a “potential public health emergency of international importance”, which would speed up research and funding to contain it.

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