Currently Outbreak, Monkeypox Cases are being Investigated in Europe, USA, Canada, to Australia

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1NEWS, Cases of monkeypox or monkeypox are currently under investigation in several countries in Europe, the United States (US), Canada, Australia and England.

Several new cases of the rare disease have been reported in France, Italy, Sweden and Australia.

The report follows confirmed cases of monkeypox in the US, Spain and Portugal on Wednesday (18/5), as well as the investigation of 13 suspected cases in Canada.

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Citing the BBC, monkeypox is most common in remote areas of Central and West Africa. Cases of disease outside the region are often associated with a history of travel to these areas.

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that is usually mild and most people recover within a few weeks, according to the UK’s National Health Service. The disease can be spread from handling wild animal meat, animal bites or scratches, body fluids, contaminated objects, or close contact with an infected person.

However, the virus that causes the disease, MPXV, does not spread easily between people and the risk to society at large is said to be very low.

The first case of the latest outbreak of the disease was reported in the UK on 7 May. The infected patients have recently traveled to Nigeria, where they are believed to have contracted the virus before traveling to the UK.

There are now at least nine confirmed cases in the UK. The source of this infection has not been confirmed but cases appear to be ‘locally acquired’, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

On Friday, it was Australia’s turn to report its first suspected case. The case is said to have occurred in a man who fell ill after returning from a trip in Europe.

In Europe, meanwhile, on Thursday confirmed one case in Sweden as well as another in Italy. In France, one suspected case has also been reported.

Swedish authorities said they were unsure how the individual contracted the virus. Meanwhile in Italy, local media reported that the infected individual had a history of travel from the Canary Islands, an autonomous region of Spain, with the territory on the northwest coast of Africa.

Earlier on Wednesday, Portugal confirmed five cases. The same day, seven cases were reported in Spain.

In North America, health authorities in the state of Massachusetts also confirmed a man had been infected with monkeypox. The patient is said to have recently traveled to Canada, where local media reported 13 suspected cases of monkeypox. The alleged cases in Canada are also being investigated by local authorities.

According to US health officials, the patient has been hospitalized, and is in ‘good condition’ and ‘poses no risk to the public’.

Although there is no approved vaccine for monkeypox in Europe, Spanish health authorities have reportedly purchased thousands of smallpox vaccines to tackle the outbreak. The monkeypox virus belongs to the same virus family as smallpox. []

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