The spread of monkeypox in some European countries, Australia, Canada and the United States, has sparked fears in several Arab countries about the spread of infection in the Middle East and North Africa, at a time when the world is still recovering of the Corona pandemic.
On Tuesday, the World Health Organization reported 131 confirmed cases of monkey pox and 106 suspected cases in 19 countries.
Experts and specialists in epidemiology and infectious diseases unanimously agree that there is no need to worry about the spread of monkeypox, as its nature, causes and modes of spread are somewhat different from the Corona virus.
With regard to the causes and methods of spread, Dr. Dirar Balawi, an infectious disease consultant, said the causes are the result of “close contact between an animal and a person, or between a person and a person.”
Monkeypox is most commonly transmitted to humans from wild rodents, but it can also be passed from one person to another, either through direct contact with a sick person’s rash or mucous membranes or through droplets.
In his speech to Al-Hurra, Balawi emphasized that there is no need to worry about its spread in the Arab countries, and he ruled out that it will become a pandemic or an infection spreading in society.
For his part, the epidemiologist, Dr. Ahmed Al-Tasa, to Al-Hurra that “monkeypox has been around for a long time in Africa” and that it is not a new disease.
Al-Tasa explained that the transmission of the disease took place “in phases, the first phase is from one animal to another, the second is from animal to human, and the third phase is what is happening now i.e. transmission between humans .”
He pointed out that there is no need to worry about monkeypox as it has not yet reached the stage of an “epidemiological spread” similar to the Corona virus.
Symptoms and Cure
Monkeypox, a rare disease, usually causes fever, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash on the hands and face.
Monkeypox causes a high temperature at first and quickly develops into a scaled rash.
dr. Al-Tassa says these symptoms can be accompanied by “back and muscle pain and itching during the healing phase at the sites of the rash.”
He added that “the disease takes about five to seven days, until the rash appears, known as the incubation period (the disease), after which it becomes easy to diagnose.”
A prominent World Health Organization adviser believed that two parties witnessing “sexual activity” may have been responsible for the unprecedented outbreak of monkeypox in Western countries, at a time when the strategic adviser to the World Health Organization’s programs confirmed that the virus “is not a disease that spreads among homosexuals, as some people have tried to classify it via social media”.
The Associated Press quoted Dr. David Heymann, who was previously the head of the WHO’s emergency department, said: “We know that monkeypox can spread through close contact with the pests of an infected person, and it appears that some form of sexual contact is now spreading the transmission. has increased.”
Two “events” may have caused the spread of “monkeypox”… and confirmation that it is not related to sexual orientation
A prominent World Health Organization adviser believed that two parties witnessing “sexual activity” may have sparked the unprecedented outbreak of monkeypox in Western countries, at a time when the Health Organization’s strategic adviser’s programs confirmed that the virus ” is not a disease that spreads among homosexuals, as some people tried to classify through social media”.
When asked about the link between monkey pox and homosexuality, Balawi said: “This should not be stigmatized as homosexuals (…) and intercourse can also take place between a man and a woman”, so the disease could spread if a of them infected.
For his part, Al-Tasa said that “it is natural that infectious diseases transmitted through touch are also transmitted through sexual contact, and this is not exclusive to homosexuals.”
He added: “It is possible that this disease first appeared in homosexuals, but there is no scientific evidence linking it to them, and any kind of physical contact or even fat drops can transmit smallpox.”
Treatments and vaccines
And the World Health Organization announced Monday that the smallpox vaccine prevents 80% of monkeypox infection.
The organization assured that “there is no evidence of a mutation in monkeypox virus and that the situation is stable.”
The organization urged health authorities around the world to conduct necessary tests and isolate those infected with monkeypox.
For his part, Dr. Balawi said the vaccines distributed in most countries of the world to fight smallpox are “effective by 85%” in preventing it.
While Dr. Al-Tasa said: “The first vaccine discovered in history was the smallpox vaccine, and in some countries there are stocks of it, and if the disease spreads it will be easier to contain than the Corona virus.”
For its part, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday that monkeypox can be contained and that it would hold a research meeting to support member states.
A senior executive of the World Health Organization said Monday the organization has no evidence that the monkeypox virus has mutated, noting that the disease, which is endemic to West and Central Africa, has not changed.
Rosamund Lewis, director of the smallpox emergency program at the World Health Organization, told reporters that mutations tend to be fewer with this virus, but the genetic sequencing of cases will help better identify and understand the current outbreak.
Al-Tassa, for his part, emphasized that “smallpox is difficult to mutate, and is different from influenza or RNA viruses, and the possibility that it mutates is possible, but it is very low, and it occurs when there is a widespread spread is among humans over time, and this is premature.”
A senior WHO official said the organization does not believe the monkeypox outbreak outside Africa requires massive vaccination campaigns, as other measures such as good personal hygiene and safe sexual behavior will help contain its spread.
Richard Peabody, who leads the World Health Organization’s High-Threat Pathogens Team in Europe, said in an interview with Reuters that immediate supplies of vaccines and antivirals are relatively limited.
Peabody’s comments came as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced it is in the process of releasing doses of the (Genius) vaccine for use in cases of monkeypox.
The German government said Monday it was studying available options regarding vaccinations, and Britain has been providing vaccinations to its health workers.
Peabody said the basic measures to control the outbreak are contact detection and isolation, noting that it does not spread very easily and has not yet caused the emergence of serious disease.
On Monday, the Moroccan Ministry of Health and Social Protection reported that it had discovered three suspected cases of monkey pox.
She stated that the cases are “in good health and are under healthcare and supervision”.
She added: “She was undergoing medical tests and waiting for results.”
At least 10 European countries, in addition to Australia, Canada, and the United States, have reported cases of monkeypox, usually not registering cases of this disease, which commonly occurs in 11 African countries.
On Monday, the World Health Organization registered more than 90 cases of monkeypox in 12 countries, including Britain, Spain, Israel, France, Switzerland, the United States and Australia.
And on Monday, Denmark announced its first cases, Portugal revised the number to 37 and Italy registered another infection.
Germany has 4 confirmed cases, according to a government report to lawmakers obtained by the Associated Press.
This smallpox-like virus, which was eradicated 40 years ago, is endemic to 11 countries in West Africa and Central Africa.