Wednesday, September 27, 2023
31 C
Brunei Town
- Advertisement -

Monkeypox is in Malaysia, but there’s no need to fret

THE STAR – Monkeypox was first brought to the attention of Malaysians in 2019 following the report of a case in Singapore.

In an average year, a few thousand cases occur in western and central Africa.

Cases outside Africa have been limited to a handful associated with travel to Africa or with the importation of infected animals.

In the past five years, there have been only eight confirmed cases in which travellers carried monkeypox to countries outside Africa, including two cases in 2021 in the United States (US).

Each of the cases in the US was associated with a person who was in Nigeria, which had seen a resurgence of monkeypox since 2017.

The palms of a monkeypox patient. PHOTO: THE STAR

Human-to-human spread was limited in those cases, with two family members infected in one instance.

One healthcare staff who had contact with contaminated bedsheets was infected in another case. However, the number of cases reported outside Africa in the past week alone, which is certain to increase, has already exceeded the number detected outside the continent since 1970.

This rapid spread in non-endemic Europe and North America has raised concerns and puzzles.

Monkeypox was first detected in laboratory monkeys in 1958 but was only first reported in humans in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1970.

Monkeypox, cowpox and smallpox are part of the DNA virus family, Orthopoxvirus genus.

It is typically spread through close contact between an animal and a human, often through a bite, scratch, or contact with the rash. It can also be spread via material contaminated with material from the monkeypox lesions, such as clothes and bedding.

Human-to human transmission has historically been less common.

- Advertisement -

Latest article