Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease that is caused by monkeypox virus, a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus, and this includes the variola virus (which causes smallpox). Monkeypox first occurs in central and west Africa, often in proximity to tropical rainforests, and has been increasingly spread to urban areas, animal hosts.
Since the first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970, several central and western African countries has also reported monkeypox. Before the 2022 outbreak, nearly all monkeypox cases outside of Africa were associated with international travel to countries where the disease commonly occurs, or through imported animals.
Outbreak of Monkeypox in 2022
In May 2022, a cluster of cases of Monkeypox was found in the United Kingdom, opened the prelude of an ongoing outbreak of monkeypox. The first recognized case was confirmed on May 6 2022 in an individual who had traveled to Nigeria (where the disease is endemic), but it has been suggested that cases were already spreading in Europe within the previous months. From May 18 2022, an increasing number of cases were reported from countries and regions, mainly in Europe, but also in North and South America, Asia, Africa, and Australia. Between January 1 to June 15 in 2022, a cumulative total of 2103 laboratory confirmed cases, one probable case, and one death have been reported to WHO from 42 countries in five WHO Regions.
The 2022 outbreak of Monkeypox marked the first time the disease has spread widely outside Central and West Africa. Cases have mainly but not exclusively been identified among men who have sex with men, but health authorities stressed that anyone can contract the disease, particularly if they have close contact with a symptomatic person. A recent statement acknowledged that undetected spreading had occurred for a period of time and called for urgent action to reduce transmission.
Know more about the latest news about Monkeypox in WHO
Test of Monkeypox
Confirmation of monkeypox depends on the sort and quality of the specimen as well as the type of laboratory test. Therefore, specimens should be packaged and transferred according to national and international requirements. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Real-time PCR may be used to diagnose a potential infection with monkeypox virus due to the accuracy and sensitivity.