After the ferocious fight against coronavirus, the world is witnessing a rise in monkeypox cases, which was declared a global health emergency of international concern in July this year. According to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director of the World Health Organisation (WHO), monkeypox cases have surpassed 70,000 and claimed 26 lives so far.
Even though the cases have declined in number, WHO has requested people not to let their guard down. WHO emphasized that it could be the “most dangerous” phase in the outbreak as the cases of the infection increase in some countries.
Monkeypox enters the ‘most dangerous’ phase: WHO
At a press conference in Geneva, Dr Tedros highlighted that while the cases of monkeypox have declined, 21 countries have reported an increase, which accounted for almost 90 per cent of all cases reported in the past week. He further called the declining outbreak dangerous as it could make people believe that the crisis is under control.
He urged people to not let their guard down as monkeypox is still a health emergency of global concern. He said that countries need to increase their testing capacity and monitor trends to curb the surge.
Monkeypox cases around the world
A rise in monkeypox cases was reported since early May. So far, more than 42,000 cases have been reported in the US, compared to about 25,000 in Europe. As per reports, monkeypox infections among males who have sex with men outside of the African countries where it is long-endemic have increased since early May.
The United States is the worst-hit country with around 26,000 cases. Monkeypox cases are high in Brazil with 8,147, followed by Spain at 7,209, and France with more than 4,000 cases. Germany, Peru, Columbia, Mexico and Canada are other countries that have reported a high number of total infections. All these countries account for 87 per cent of the total cases across the globe.
Meanwhile, India has reported only a few cases of monkeypox – around 10 confirmed cases in Delhi with no intentional travel history and five in Kerala with a travel history of UAE. The average age of people infected with the virus was 31.
Initial monkeypox symptoms to know
According to WHO, the cases of monkeypox can vary. Symptoms may manifest 1-2 weeks post-infection. Typically, the symptoms may begin with upper respiratory or flu-like symptoms. People are most likely to experience a high fever, severe body aches and pains, a headache, and weariness as their initial symptoms. Following this, a person may develop Lymphocytic lymphadenopathy or swollen lymph nodes. A rash may then develop on the hands, feet, face, lips, and occasionally the genitalia. These rashes manifest as painful red papules, or raised lumps packed with pus.
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should get a medical check up done to protect yourself and those around you.