Monkeypox: 4 Things You Need to Know From the WHO

Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Monkeypox: 4 Things You Need to Know From the WHO” – below is their description.

An expert from the World Health Organisation reassured the public on Monday during a Q&A that monkeypox and the COVID-19 virus are not the same disease.

Dr Rosamund Lewis, who is the Head of Smallpox Secretariat for the WHO Emergencies Programme, said monkeypox is caused by a different virus than the COVID-19 virus and that it “spreads in a different manner” – through close physical contact.

“People who have monkeypox do develop a rash, and that rash, if you touch it, that can be contagious. So it is person to person, close contact spread,” she added.

Monkeypox typically causes fever, chills, rash, and lesions on the face or genitals.

It can be spread through close contact with an infected person or their clothing or bedsheets, but sexual transmission has not yet been documented.

To date, WHO has recorded more than 90 cases of monkeypox in a dozen countries including Britain, Spain, Israel, France, Switzerland, the U.S. and Australia.

WHO Technical lead COVID 19, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove said the organisation said that many cases are currently being “detected in the communities of men having sex with men,” but that as surveillance of the cases expands they expect that more cases will be seen in other communities.

Other scientists have pointed out that it will be difficult to disentangle whether it is sex itself or the close contact related to sex that has driven the recent spread of monkeypox across Europe.

Kerkhove said most people who have contracted the virus have had a “mild disease,” but that anyone that comes into contact with an infected person “needs to be informed so that we can prevent onward spread.”

Most people recover from monkeypox within several weeks without requiring hospitalization.

Vaccines against smallpox, a related disease, are also effective in preventing monkeypox and some antiviral drugs are being developed.

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