The World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed that there are over 1200 cases of Monkeypox throughout the world, with 6 cases established in Australia.
Monkeypox in the western world was a relatively unknown disease, however since the beginning of May, several hundred cases have been reported around the globe. The UK has 321 confirmed cases, with Spain at 259, Portugal with 191, Germany at 113 and Canada with 110, while other countries throughout Europe and North America are also present.
28 countries have reported the disease, with majority of cases in the Northern Hemisphere, however several countries in central and west Africa (where the disease originated from) have seen up to as many as 72 deaths. This can be contributed to a lack of adequate health services, but it should be noted that there have been no reported deaths from monkeypox in countries with sufficient medical care.
Experts say through their research they’ve been able to establish that most of the transmissions have happened through some kind of physical contact but still need to carry out more studies to identify specifics.
According to WHO, “the modes of transmission during sexual contact remain unknown… it is not clear what role sexual bodily fluids, including semen and vaginal fluids, play in the transmission of Monkeypox.”
Majority of the people infected with Monkeypox have been gay or bisexual men but WHO has only issued a moderate health risk citing that because it hasn’t spread to all groups of society it’s not considered high risk.
Monkeypox has a range of symptoms including fever, rash with blisters, headaches, swollen lymph nodes, lethargy and body aches.
Infection can occur from various ways of contact with an infected person, including body fluids and skin contact. The incubation period is about six to 13 days and can go up to 21 days.
The disease found its name when it was discovered in the 1950s, after people became infected after coming in contact with or eating wild animals such as monkeys.