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  • authorities in the US state of massachusetts have recorded their first case of the rare monkeypox virus.

  • Several european countries have reported cases most recently in France US doctors are now investigating whether the massachusetts cases related to the european outbreaks.

  • Monkeypox is a rare viral infection usually found in small mammals in West and Central africa.

  • The spread of the virus is usually caused by people traveling to those areas.

  • That's why doctors at the massachusetts General Hospital in the US were initially surprised to be confronted with the disease and a patient, it's like being there.

  • During the course of their admission.

  • They were identified as a possible monkeypox suspect and this was really unusual because the patient had no travel history.

  • Uh no exposure to animals that would be known to be reservoirs.

  • However, the team thinking about the patient and hearing.

  • Um just over the weekend about some of the case in the United Kingdom, I thought more broadly about the patient's diagnosis.

  • Doctors are now working to establish whether the infection is connected to small outbreaks currently being seen in europe Italy and Sweden have become the latest countries to confirm cases following Britain.

  • Portugal and spain authorities say they are monitoring the outbreak closely.

  • It's not likely that it will generate a significant transmission but we cannot rule it out.

  • So we have to be very careful.

  • Monkeypox is similar to human smallpox though milder.

  • Most people recover from it in a few weeks, symptoms include fever and headache, feeling tired and swollen glands.

  • The virus is usually transferred through close bodily contact or bodily fluids.

  • While the world Health Organization says the general public should be aware of unusual skin rashes, experts stress, there is no need for alarm.

  • It can then spread from person to person, but it's not very efficient at transmitting.

  • And so what we normally see is maybe one or two people get infected from that case and then it dies out because it's not very infectious within human population.

  • While authorities stressed that the risk to the general public is low, they're urging any suspected cases to self isolate immediately and for more.

  • I'm now joined by Simon Clark, associate professor in cellular microbiology from the University of Reading in the UK.

  • Welcome to D.

  • W.

  • Now we heard there in that report the symptoms of monkeypox are quite mild in humans.

  • So why now our health officials focusing their attention on this spread?

  • Well, those symptoms are generally quite mild.

  • Um and legality is low, it's probably about 1%.

  • This is the version of the virus that we have in the UK, it's probably about 1% in the context of an African um health care system.

  • In a european healthcare system you would expected I think to be even lower.

  • But you have to remember that this causes quite severe lesions which can scar can stay with people for life and also it's more likely to be lethal in younger people.

  • So, um there is a need to control this and to get on top of it quickly and prevent it from spreading.

  • Now, how can monkeypox be treated?

  • Uh Well some of the treatments that we have for smallpox which haven't been used in decades because of course smallpox is extinct um could be wheeled out and we're not quite sure exactly how effective these will be but there does appear to be some efficacy with them.

  • So you can use the smallpox vaccine to ring fence immunity around outbreaks and there will be attempts to use antibodies against smallpox against monkeypox as well.

  • Now this tropical diseases normally found in West and Central Africa.

  • Now we're seeing it here in colder climates in the U.

  • S.

  • In europe.

  • Do we have any knowledge about why we're seeing it here?

  • Well, it's the sort of thing that we would periodically see anyway.

  • I suspect that that the the relatively high number of outbreaks in northern climes, it's probably got something to do with increased travel.

  • People haven't been able to travel to um from from europe to Africa for quite a while now.

  • Um And of course over the past few months that will have changed and people will start moving around the world again and we'll start to see these outbreaks.

  • Of course we have to remember that older people have some residual immunity.

  • It's believed from smallpox vaccine?

  • Somebody my age, I won't so of course we're probably a bit more susceptible to the monkey pox than the older population, fascinating stuff.

  • Simon Clarke from the University of Reading.

  • Thank you.

authorities in the US state of massachusetts have recorded their first case of the rare monkeypox virus.

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Concern grows as more countries detect monkeypox | DW News

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    林宜悉 posted on 2022/03/02
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