There are 14,000 monkeypox cases worldwide and five deaths, the WHO confirmed on Wednesday.
The first case of monkeypox has been registered in Qatar, the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) confirmed on Wednesday.
The case was detected in a traveller returning to Qatar from abroad. The patient is undergoing isolation at the hospital and is receiving the necessary medical care with adherence to the national protocol for managing confirmed cases of monkeypox, MOPH announced.
Any individual that had been in close contact with the confirmed case has been traced, and is being monitored for 21 days in order to track potential developments of the monkeypox symptoms.
MOPH further announced that all the necessary protective measures in line for the early detection of suspected monkeypox cases have been carried out. Detection and diagnosis capabilities have also been provided in national laboratories, with updates of regulations and guidelines for managing the disease also being laid out.
MOPH, in coordination with the World Health Organisation (WHO), is keeping a close eye on the global and regional epidemiological situation, to ensure the healthcare sector’s readiness and ability to place a tight grip on any future developments.
In the announcement, MOPH recommended that the community members should comply with the precautionary health advice, especially during travel.
What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a viral infection that occurs primarily in the tropical rainforest regions of Central and West Africa and may occasionally spread to other regions, according to Qatar’s MOPH.
The virus was first discovered in 1958, with the first human case reported in Africa in 1970. However, this is not the first time the virus has spread outside of the bounds of the African continent.
People who have contracted the monkeypox usually develop symptoms that include fever, a chickenpox-like rash, muscle aches, shivering, swollen glands, and other health complications.
A rash, which usually starts in the face before spreading to other parts of the body, usually appears 1 to 5 days after the first symptoms.
The rash starts as raised spots, which turn into small blisters filled with fluid before then transforming into scabs that later fall off.
The symptoms usually clear up in a few weeks though patients with monkeypox can pass it on to other people.
Although Monkeypox belongs to the same virus family as Smallpox, its symptoms are milder.
The virus is spread by close contact therefore it is somewhat easily contained through precautionary measures such as as self-isolation and proper hygiene.
“Epidemiological investigations are ongoing, however, reported cases thus far have no established travel links to endemic areas. Based on currently available information, cases have mainly but not exclusively been identified amongst men who have sex with men seeking care in primary care and sexual health clinics,” WHO reported.
“What seems to be happening now is that it has got into the population as a sexual form, as a genital form, and is being spread as are sexually transmitted infections, which has amplified its transmission around the world,” said WHO official David Heymann, an infectious disease specialist.
The WHO announced in late May that it remains unlikely that the monkeypox turns into a pandemic, according to the Associated Press.
According to current statistics, there are 14,000 monkeypox cases worldwide with five deaths reported in Africa, the WHO confirmed on Wednesday.
For questions or any enquiry related to Monkeypox, people can reach the 24-hour health sector support line by calling 16000.