What Is Monkeypox?

|| Post On > Aug 12 2022 ||

Monkeypox is a viral disease from the same family as smallpox, though its symptoms usually aren't as serious. Scientists have known about it since 1958 when it was found in lab monkeys used for research. Monkeypox is most common in Central and West Africa. But in May 2022, health officials began reporting an outbreak of the virus in several regions outside Africa.

As of late July 2022, the CDC had confirmed almost 2,900 cases of monkeypox and a related virus in the U.S. That was up from 35 confirmed cases in early June. The agency had confirmed over 16,800 cases of monkeypox worldwide as of late July, up from over 1,000 cases reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) in early June.

On July 23, 2022, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared the fast-spreading outbreak to be “a public health emergency of international concern.”

The WHO says an international public health emergency is an “extraordinary event” that poses a serious public health risk. It’s different from a pandemic, like the one caused by the coronavirus. A pandemic is a global outbreak of a virus that infects large numbers of people and causes a high number of deaths, often disrupting daily life and causing general hardship.

How Can Monkeypox Spread?

It can spread from person to person through close contact. Someone who's infected with it can pass it to you through:

  • Contact with body fluids like blood or semen
  • Contact with monkeypox lesions on their skin (including inside their nose and mouth)
  • Respiratory droplets that you breathe in
  • Things that have touched infected body fluids, like bedding or clothing (This happens less often.)

During the 2022 global outbreak, monkeypox spread mainly from person to person, a study in The New England Journal of Medicine suggested. The researchers found that 98% of people who got diagnosed with monkeypox between late April and late June of 2022 were gay or bisexual men. The researchers suspected that the virus spread through sexual activity in 95% of infected people.




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