An official with the World Health Organization (WHO) stated today that the monkeypox outbreak outside of Africa is unlikely to result in a pandemic, but it's still unknown if infected people who don't show symptoms can spread the disease.
Photo via The Guardian
According to Reuters, more than 300 suspected and confirmed cases of monkeypox were reported in May, predominantly in Europe.
Monkeypox is typically a mild disease that spreads through physical intimacy and causes flu-like symptoms and a distinctive rash.
The WHO is evaluating whether or not the epidemic should be classified as a "potential public health emergency of international concern," or PHEIC. A declaration like this, like the ones made for COVID-19 and Ebola, would help speed up research and funding to combat the disease.
When asked if this monkeypox outbreak has the potential to turn into a pandemic, Rosamund Lewis, technical lead for monkeypox from WHO Health Emergencies Programme, stated, "We don't know but we don't think so."
"We are not concerned about a global pandemic at this time," she added.
Photo via Malaysia Trend
The strain of virus implicated in the outbreak is understood to kill a small fraction of those infected, however, there are no deaths reported so far.
Most cases occurred in Europe rather than in the Central and West African countries where the virus is endemic, and are predominantly not related to travel.
Meanwhile, scientists are looking into what might explain this unusual surge of cases while public health authorities suspect there is some degree of community transmission.
Ahh, this is so scary! Please be vigilant, guys, and keep yourself and your loved ones safe!
By: Aishah Akashah Ahadiat