Abu Dhabi, Dubai urge health entities to monitor monkeypox virus

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Department of Health and Dubai Health Authority urged medical facilities on Friday to remain vigilant over monkeypox, in notices issued on Friday.

A circular from Dubai Health Authority (DHA) on the website stated the need to “enhance and promote the early detection of the disease”.

It said it was “raising the level of epidemiological surveillance of monkeypox cases” in Dubai with immediate effect.

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In a circular issued, the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi has also urged all healthcare facilities operating in the emirate to be vigilant about any suspected or confirmed monkeypox cases.

The alert comes in line with the DoH’s regular assessment of the global healthcare landscape.

World Health Organization (WHO) warned of the seriousness of the disease after it was detected in a number of countries, and the organisation called for a strong tracing of contacts of the infected cases.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation has called for an emergency meeting to discuss the recent outbreak of monkeypox. 

Cases of monkeypox have been reported or are suspected in the following countries: Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Italy, the UK, US and the Israel.

What is monkeypox?

As per World Health Organization (WHO), monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with monkeypox virus, which originates in wild animals like rodents and primates, and then spreads to people.

Monkeypox is most common in remote parts of Central and West Africa.

It’s usually a mild viral infection. The virus belongs to the same family as the smallpox (Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae). This genus also includes variola virus (which causes smallpox), vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox virus.

There are two main strains, the first is the Congo strain, which is more dangerous, with a mortality rate of up to 10 percent, and the other is the West African strain, with a mortality rate of about 1 percent.

The symptoms include

Monkeypox usually begins with fever, headache, muscle and back aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, fatigue, and eventually a rash and painful fluid-filled blisters on the face, hands, and feet. The rash usually appears first on the face, then the hands and feet, and develops within one to three days.

The illness typically lasts for two to four weeks and symptoms can appear anywhere from five to 21 days after infection.

The virus which was first found in monkey in 1958 can spread between humans through close contact.

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