Four gulf countries have announced their position on the spread of the monkeypox virus, which causes a smallpox-like infection, in a number of countries around the world.
Saudi Arabia said that the possibility of monkeypox patients transmitting to the Kingdom is very weak, while the UAE announced its readiness to deal with the disease and start early surveillance for it, and at the same time, denied the existence of any infection with it on the territory of the countries.
Monkeypox disease is not rapidly spreading, said Hani Jokhdar, Undersecretary of the Saudi Ministry of Health for Public Health.
The Saudi ministry in a statement to the government’s Al-Ekhbariya channel, that “the possibility of monkeypox transmission to the Kingdom is very low.”
Jokhdar pointed out that “there is no clear scientific information so far regarding the speed of transmission of this disease.”
He further stated that “monkeypox disease appears in small foci and ends there, and this is evidence that it does not spread quickly, and this is what reassures us.”
For its part, the UAE Ministry of Health stated that the disease is spreading widely in the tropical forests of West and Central Africa, indicating that it may spread to other places.
The ministry indicated that it is studying the situation and evaluating the risk of the epidemic locally according to the volume of international travel, pointing to the issuance of a circular for medical staff working in the country to work on discovering cases and reporting them to the concerned health authorities.
In this context, the Qatari Ministry of Public Health confirmed, in a statement, that “no case of monkeypox has been recorded or discovered in Qatar so far.”
The ministry added that it has taken a full set of public health measures for early detection of any suspected cases, if they appear, in order to contain any possible spread of the virus.
It stated that it has directed healthcare professionals to monitor potential patients who may have symptoms of monkeypox and to report any suspected cases.
The ministry stressed that “the health care sector is fully prepared to manage any suspected or confirmed cases.”
For his part, Kuwait’s Ministry of Health confirmed on Sunday no cases of monkeypox cases were detected in the country.
The arrival of the virus in the Middle East
Israel has confirmed its first case of the viral infection in a man who returned from abroad.
Israeli health authorities said that the injured is lying in a Tel Aviv hospital and that he is in good condition. It also urged those returning from abroad to go to the doctor if a high temperature or a rash appears.
Sharon Alroy Press, head of the public health services sector at the Israeli Ministry of Health, told Israel Army Radio Sunday that medical teams are currently checking for other monkeypox cases.
It is likely that the first infection with this disease in Israel is the first appearance of the disease in the Middle East.
WHO continues to monitor countries where the disease has not appeared and will provide more instructions and recommendations in the coming days on how to limit its spread.
Available information indicates that human-to-human transmission occurs between people in close contact with cases who show symptoms.
Monkeypox is a usually mild infectious disease that is endemic in parts of West and Central Africa and is a rare virus similar to human smallpox.
Symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, and a rash that begins on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. It spreads through close contact, so it can be contained relatively easily through measures such as self-isolation and personal hygiene.
It is reported that the World Organization confirmed that 92 confirmed cases and 28 suspected cases of monkeypox have been reported from 12 member countries where the virus is not endemic.