(ORDO NEWS) — Cases of monkeypox have been reported in 20 countries, with infections now officially confirmed in the US, UK, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France and Italy.
Monkeypox virus has now been found in 20 countries around the world where the viral infection is not endemic (frequently occurring).
This is one of the largest outbreaks of the virus outside of West Africa, where it has been endemic for many years. The virus has been registered in more than 100 people.
Currently, these cases have been reported in the US, UK, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy and other countries. So far, no cases of the disease have been reported in India.
The US has said it has a stock of smallpox vaccine in case of an outbreak, Germany has ordered 40,000 doses of the Bavarian Scandinavian vaccine. The rapid pace of transmission puzzled scientists, who raised the alarm in connection with the events.
Monkeypox is a virus that occurs in wild animals such as rodents and primates and sometimes spreads to humans. It belongs to the same family of viruses as smallpox.
The virus is transmitted when a person comes into contact with a virus-infected animal, person, or material contaminated with the virus.
According to the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the virus enters the body through broken skin, respiratory tract, or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth).
Meanwhile, animal-to-human transmission can occur by biting or scratching, direct contact with body fluids or lesion material, or indirect contact with lesion material, such as through contaminated bedding.
Scientists are also looking into human-to-human contact behind the rise in monkeypox virus cases. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also suggested that the cause of the spread is sexual activity at two recent dance festivals in Europe.
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