By Waturi Nguyo
Israel, Switzerland and Austria are the latest countries to report confirmed cases of the unusual monkeypox detected in the UK last week bringing the total number of countries where the virus has been detected to 15. Other countries are Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the US. According to the WHO, confirmed cases stood at 92 over the weekend before the three countries reported confirmed cases.
The WHO has described the virus as atypical because it is occurring in non-endemic countries away from the norm where the virus is common in West and Central Africa. Health officials from WHO have warned that more cases may be reported in the next few days adding that the WHO was investigating 50 additional cases.
Monkeypox is spread through close contact with infected persons. Nevertheless, health officials claim that the virus is not as contagious as COVID-19. Even so, countries like Spain and the US have reportedly bought huge consignments of small pox vaccine which is used to protect people against the vaccine because the two are similar.
In the UK, the government has asked the public to be on high alert and asked high risk contacts of those diagnosed with the virus to self-isolate for three works to avoid spreading the virus. Belgium on its part has become the first country to institute a 21-day monkeypox quarantine in addition to three weeks isolation period for those who contract the virus.
Featured Image: Monkeypox virus under a microscope. CDC