Health officials: Monkeypox declared a national emergency, spreading mainly through intimate contact – Reuters

For the second time in two years, the World Health Organization [WHO] declared a national public health emergency, this time due to Monkeypox.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared the global escalation of the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (USPPI) last weekend after more than 16,000 monkeypox cases been reported to WHO in 47 countries.

“We have an epidemic that has spread rapidly around the world, thanks to new modes of transmission, which we understand too little and which meet the criteria of the International Health Regulations,” Ghebreyesus said in a statement published on the site on Saturday. WHO website.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 2,891 confirmed cases of Monkeypox in the United States as of Monday, including 211 in Georgia.

There are currently 16,836 cases worldwide. The CDC information does not specify where the cases are in Georgia or the affected states.

Area medical experts, such as Emory’s Dr. Kenneth Horlander, are monitoring the outbreak locally. Horlander said there is currently no evidence of cases in or near Troup County.

He recommended residents take basic hygiene precautions, but otherwise they are in no immediate danger of catching the virus.

“A person who does not come into contact with someone who has known Monkeypox is very unlikely to contract the disease,” Horlander said. “People who are intimate or who work in close contact with each other or with the clothing of others should take basic safety precautions.”

The WHO assessment is that the risk of monkeypox is moderate globally and in all regions except the European region where the organization assesses the risk as high.

“There is also a clear risk of further international spread, although the risk of interference with international traffic remains low at this time,” Ghebreyesus said.

“We have an epidemic that has spread rapidly around the world, through new modes of transmission, of which we understand too little, and which meets the criteria of the International Health Regulations.”

According to the CDC, early symptoms of Monkeypox include fever, malaise, headache, weakness, and swollen lymph nodes in areas like the neck and armpits.

The telltale sign of the virus is raised, rash-like bumps on the infected person’s body.

The illness usually lasts from two weeks to a month. Despite its appearance, Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.

“It can take 21 days to start having symptoms,” Horlander said. “It is a very dangerous virus, and there are even people who have to be hospitalized, often because of severe skin pain and mucous membrane damage.

Monkeypox is transmitted primarily through close physical contact with an infected person.

Sexual contact, especially between men, was the main cause of the recent spread, according to the CDC.

“It really started to spread quickly,” Horlander said. “One recommendation is to avoid intimate contact until [those experiencing symptoms] are sure they have not had sex with anyone else in the previous 21 days.

The contact isn’t just sexual, Horlander said. Monkeypox can be spread simply by touching the clothes or linens used by someone infected with the virus, or by cuddling, massaging, or kissing.

Another consideration is animal propagation. Horlander recommends cleaning animal scratches immediately.

Health officials have also recommended taking the following steps in public:

  • Do not try on clothes at the store and wash them before wearing them.
  • Bring your own towel to the pool.
  • Wipe down gym equipment before and after using it.
  • Disinfect objects with which an infected person has come into contact.

According to the CDC, there are two vaccines approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent monkeypox infection – JYNNEOS (also known as Imvamune or Imvanex) and ACAM2000.

In the United States, there is currently a limited supply of JYNNEOS, although more is expected in the coming weeks and months. However, there is a sufficient supply of ACAM 2000. There are no data available yet on the efficacy of these vaccines in the current context. epidemic.

Morgan Redding of the Troup County Public Health Department said Monday the health department is meeting with health officials to discuss bringing monkeypox vaccines to the area.

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