The viral illness monkeypox is spreading around the world, leading to fears the virus could embed itself as the next global health threat.

Just two weeks after the World Health Organization issued its highest emergency alert following a worldwide surge in monkeypox cases, the US has declared it a public health emergency. 

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In the UK, a total of 2,759 infections have been detected. The majority have been found in London, but health officials have warned that the virus has begun to spread outside the capital too. “Time is slipping away quite quickly,” said the Terrence Higgins Trust, which helped coordinate the national effort to contain it.

How worried should we be about monkeypox?

Monkeypox is already endemic in ten countries in West and Central Africa, with dozens of cases reported this year in Cameroon, Nigeria and the Central African Republic. These figures “are almost certainly underestimates”, said Science.org. Many infections happen in remote and rural areas, and data collection is hampered by conflict in several regions.

In the UK, LGBTQ+ groups have warned that the illness risks becoming endemic in Britain unless the government takes tougher action to curb its spread. Writing to Health Secretary Steve Barclay, an alliance of charities and activists called for “clear, non-stigmatising messaging” and improvements to efforts to vaccinate those most at risk.

They are also advising against panic. Although headlines might look “grim enough that you might be worried that monkeypox is like Sars or Covid”, this virus is “much less contagious and much less likely to be deadly than Covid”, said The New York Times. There are also treatments and vaccines which are …read more

Source:: The Week – All news

      

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