More than 200 confirmed or suspected cases of Monkeypox have been reported in 20 countries, the World Health Organization announced on Friday. Countries in Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and the Americas have reported infections. A senior official at the global health body feared there was community spread of Monkeypox, Reuters reported.
Sylvie Briand, the WHO’s director for global infectious hazard preparedness, said the disease was “controllable” if the right measures are put in place now.
In India, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said the government was prepared following the rise in cases in the country. ICMR scientist Dr Aparna Mukherjee urged people with a history of travel to monkeypox-affected countries and those with symptoms such as fever and body aches to get tested.
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Here are the latest developments on the monkeypox virus:
1. ICMR scientist Dr Aparna Mukherjee told ANI news agency that cases of Monkeypox were being detected in non-endemic European countries and the United States, but said people should not not panic. “We should observe the unusual symptoms like high fever, lots of lymphadenopathy, large lymph nodes, body aches, rashes, etc., especially those with a history of travel from infected countries.”
2. A medical device company named Trivitron Healthcare said it has developed a real-time PCR-based kit for the detection of Monkeypox virus (orthopoxvirus), PTI reported. Research is currently underway to better understand the epidemiology, sources of spread and transmission patterns of the virus. Trivitron has 15 manufacturing plants in India, USA, Finland, Turkey and China to deploy medical technology products.
3. WHO officials have also stated that there is no need for mass vaccination against Monkeypox virus at this time, but targeted vaccination is available for those who have been in close contact with infected people.
LILY: Nearly 200 cases of monkeypox in more than 20 countries: WHO
4. The European Union is working on a joint purchase agreement for Monkeypox vaccines and antivirals, Reuters reported. The EU is in talks to buy the Imvanex vaccine from Bavarian Nordic as well as the antiviral, tecovirimat, developed by the American company SIGA Technologies.
5. With one of Europe’s biggest gay pride celebrations just around the corner, Spain’s LGBTQ community fears the continent’s Monkeypox outbreak could lead to a rise in homophobic sentiment based on misunderstanding of the disease, reported the Associated Press.
6. Finland confirmed its first case of Monkeypox on Friday and Canada reported 10 new infections, bringing its total to 25. The United States also confirmed nine additional cases in seven states. The total number of infections in the United States is up to 11 since the first discovery on May 18.
7. Argentina reported the first confirmed case of Monkeypox virus in Latin America. The patient had recently traveled to Spain, but health authorities are waiting to complete sequencing of the virus before an official announcement, AP reported.
8. The United States has confirmed nine cases of Monkeypox in seven states. Officials in the United States said they have already begun to mobilize for treatment in states where cases of Monkeypox have been identified. Jennifer McQuiston, deputy director of the CDC’s Division of High Consequence Pathogens and Conditions, said doses of the Jynneos vaccine arrived in Massachusetts on Sunday, where the first U.S. case of Monkeypox was identified.