Monkeypox Virus Outbreak: Is this the next pandemic after COVID-19? Know Similarities and Differences
Monkeypox Virus Outbreak: WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared Monkeypox virus outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern on July 25, 2022. He emphasised that we can stop monkeypox transmission with the existing tools and bring the outbreak under control.
The emergence of monkeypox cases across the globe, similar to the way COVID-19 first emerged, has raised fears of another pandemic especially since almost 17000 people have been infected with the virus in 74 countries. India has also reported four confirmed cases of monkeypox, three in Kerala and one in Delhi.
A 34-yr-old male resident of Delhi was isolated at Lok Nayak Hospital as a suspected case of Monkeypox. A confirmation of the diagnosis has been done by National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune: Govt of India
— ANI (@ANI)
July 24, 2022
Monkeypox Global Health Emergency: Is Monkeypox the next pandemic after COVID-19?
According to WHO, we have a monkeypox outbreak that has spread rapidly around the world through new modes of transmission, about which we understand too little.
The WHO Director-General also acknowledged that there is a clear risk of further international spread, although the risk of interference with international traffic remains low for the moment.
“So in short, we have an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly, through new modes of transmission, about which we understand too little and which meets the criteria in the International Health Regulations.”-@DrTedros #monkeypox
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO)
July 23, 2022
Monkeypox Virus Outbreak: Should we be alarmed?
As per WHO’s latest assessment, currently, the risk of monkeypox is moderate globally and in all regions, except in the European region where it has been assessed as high.
WHO Director-General had convened an Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations earlier to assess whether the multi-country monkeypox outbreak represented a public health emergency of international concern. At that time, the committee had come to a consensus that the monkeypox outbreak did not represent a public health emergency of international concern. However, since then, the outbreak has continued to grow.
Dr. Tedros said that in light of the evolving monkeypox outbreak, he had reconvened the committee on July 21, 2022 to review the latest data. The committee considered following five elements and then declared monkeypox as a global health emergency-
1. Information provided by countries, which show the rapid spread of monkeypox virus to many countries that have not seen it before.
2. The criteria to declare a public health emergency of international concern.
3. Advice of Emergency Committee
4. Scientific Principles, evidence
5. Risk to human health and international spread
Monkeypox Virus Outbreak: Know Similarities and Differences between Monkeypox and COVID-19
|Monkeypox virus is a zoonotic virus caused by monkeypox virus.||COVID-19 is an infectious disease that is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.|
The common monkeypox symptoms include fever, headache, back pain, muscle ache, low energy, swollen lymph nodes and lesions on the face, eyes, hands and soles of the feet of the person infected with monkeypox virus.
The common COVID-19 symptoms include fever, breathing difficulty, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, nausea, cough, tiredness and loss of taste or smell.
While there are many common symptoms between Monkeypox and COVID-19, the glaring difference is the lesions.
Monkeypox mainly spreads through skin-to-skin contact including but limited to sexual contact or close contact with skin flakes or other bodily fluids of the infected person.
|COVID-19 spreads through small airborne particles and droplets and contact with bodily fluids of the infected person.|
|Monkeypox is less contagious than chickenpox and smallpox and is said to have a low fatality rate.||COVID-19 has an Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) of 1.4 percent.|
|As per experts, the smallpox vaccine has proven to be cross-protective against monkeypox and can prevent infection. However, they have suggested against mass vaccination. The experts also feel that continuing immunity from prior smallpox vaccination in persons over the age of 42-50 years could limit the spread of the virus. Smallpox vaccination had ended worldwide in 1980 after the eradication of the disease.||Several companies have developed vaccines against the COVID-19 virus, which while may not prevent the infection but will prevent severe infection among infected individuals.|