Qatar recorded its first case of monkeypox on Wednesday.
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 Ministry of Public Health.
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.
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.
If you get infected with monkeypox, it usually takes between 5 and 21 days for the first symptoms to appear. According to the NHS, the first symptoms include:
- a high temperature
- a headache
- muscle aches
- swollen glands
- shivering (chills)
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.
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.