The World Health Organization has called an urgent briefing on monkeypox.  According to regional director Dr. Hans Kluge, Europe has become the epicenter of the contagion.

The World Health Organization has called an urgent briefing on monkeypox. According to regional director Dr. Hans Kluge, Europe has become the epicenter of the contagion.

A photo: REUTERS

The World Health Organization has called an urgent briefing on monkeypox. According to regional director Dr. Hans Kluge, Europe has become the epicenter of the contagion. Cases have been reported in 25 countries in the European region, with more than 1,500 infected, accounting for 85 percent of all monkeypox cases worldwide.

The incubation period of the disease lasts 21 days from the moment of contact. Among the first symptoms are fever and fever, the rash appears later. Basically, those cases of infection that are now observed in Europe are localized among the homosexual population and people who have recently had several sexual partners, the WHO said.

Monkeypox is transmitted from person to person through close physical contact, the so-called skin-to-skin contact, that is, it is touch. Also, the virus was found in the semen of infected men, which means that monkeypox is transmitted through sex. In addition, it is possible to catch monkeypox through droplets and aerosols emitted during conversation and at a distance, but this probability is much lower than through close physical contact. Another nuisance is that the monkeypox virus can persist on surfaces for a long time, so it can be transmitted through household items used by infected people. In addition to the homosexual group of people, there are cases of infection in some heterosexual families.

While WHO is not considering mass vaccination against smallpox, although one smallpox drug has been approved for post-exposure prophylaxis of the disease. First of all, this applies to people who were in close contact with the sick, including medical workers. WHO lists children, pregnant women, and immunosuppressed people as potentially vulnerable to the virus.

While the monkeypox virus has not caused any deaths in the European region, the disease is mild and the patient is treated at home, with only a few requiring hospitalization. However, in African countries, the monkeypox virus causes an average mortality rate of 3.3% (the number of deaths among those infected), which means that the virus can potentially be very dangerous. The monkeypox virus is much more stable and less likely to mutate than, for example, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the WHO said.

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