What is Monkey Pox
- The disease mpox or monkeypox (formerly monkeypox) is caused by the monkeypox virus (commonly abbreviated as MPXV).
- It is an enveloped double-stranded DNA virus of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the Poxviridae family, which includes variola, cowpox, vaccinia and other viruses.
- The two genetic clades of the virus are clades I and II.
- The natural reservoir of the virus is unknown – various small mammals such as squirrels and monkeys are susceptible
- Common symptoms of mpox are a skin rash or mucosal lesions which can last 2–4 weeks accompanied by fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy, and swollen lymph nodes.
It spreads from contact with infected:
- persons, through touch, kissing, or sex
- animals, when hunting, skinning, or cooking them
- materials, such as contaminated sheets, clothes or needles
- pregnant persons, who may pass the virus on to their unborn baby.
- There is no specific treatment or vaccine available for Monkeypox infection.
- But the European Union has recommended a Small Pox Vaccine, Imvanex to treat monkeypox
- After 1970, mpox occurred sporadically in Central and East Africa (clade I) and West Africa (clade II).
- In 2003 an outbreak in the United States of America was linked to imported wild animals (clade II).
- Since 2005, thousands of suspected cases are reported in the DRC every year.
- In 2017, mpox re-emerged in Nigeria and continues to spread between people across the country and in travellers to other destinations.
- A global outbreak occurred in 2022–2023.
- The global outbreak of mpox was declared a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) on 23 of July 2022.
- WHO published a strategic preparedness and response plan for mpox and a suite of technical guidance documents.
Public health emergency of international concern
- The WHO defines PHEIC as an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other states through the international spread of disease and potentially requires a coordinated international response.
- The WHO reserves the designation for only those diseases that need a coordinated international response to prevent them from potentially escalating into a pandemic.
- The definition implies that the situation is serious, sudden, unusual or unexpected and carries implications for public health beyond the affected country’s border.
- The alert has previously been issued for Ebola, H1N1 Swine Flu, Poliovirus, Covid-19 and Zika Virus.
Why in news
- WHO declares end to mpox public health emergency.