Monkeypox cases surge in Britain – Is it cause of concern for India?

Apart from Britain, cases have also been reported in Portugal and USA

New Delhi: Since May 6, Britain reported nine cases of monkeypox disease. Following the surge in the cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a warning.

Three cases from the same household were initially confirmed on May 6, followed by four more cases a few days later. Two additional cases, one in London and one in the South East of England, were also detected.

Symptoms of monkeypox disease

As per WHO, monkeypox is a sylvatic zoonosis with incidental human infections that usually occur in forested parts of Central and West Africa. It is caused by the monkeypox virus which belongs to the orthopoxvirus family.

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There are two main strains of the virus. They are

  1. Congo strain
  2. West African strain.

Congo strain is more severe when compared to the other one. It has a mortality rate of 10 percent.

The symptoms of monkeypox disease include

  1. Fever symptoms
  2. Distinctive bumpy rash

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

Why did WHO issue warning?

Although, the number of cases reported in Britain is nine, there is no connection between the individuals who got infected with the virus.

Among them, only one person has traveled to Nigeria.

Apart from Britain, the cases have also been reported in Portugal and the United States of America. While Portugal reported five cases, a person tested positive in Massachusetts.

Is it a cause of concern for India?

As no case of monkeypox has been reported in India so far, it is not a concern for the country.

However, concerned authorities need to keep an eye on any surge in number of cases in Britain and other parts of the world.

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