Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
NEW! Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+ Try 7 Days Free

Explainer-How worried should we be about the monkeypox global health emergency?

Coronavirus Jul 27, 2022 01:27AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. Test tubes labelled "Monkeypox virus positive" are seen in this illustration taken May 22, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
 
EBS
+1.01%
Add to/Remove from Watchlist
Add to Watchlist
Add Position

Position added successfully to:

Please name your holdings portfolio
 

By Natalie Grover and Michael Erman

LONDON (Reuters) - The rapidly spreading monkeypox outbreak constitutes a global health emergency, the World Health Organization's highest alert level, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared on Saturday.

First identified in monkeys, the virus is transmitted chiefly through close contact with an infected person. Until this year, the viral disease has rarely spread outside Africa where it is endemic.

But reports of a handful of cases in the United Kingdom in early May signalled that the outbreak had moved into Europe.

Cases have since ballooned to more than 16,000 from than 75 countries. Five deaths, all of which occurred in Africa, have been reported so far.

HOW DANGEROUS IS IT?

Monkeypox is a virus than typically causes mild symptoms including fever, aches and pus-filled skin lesions. People tend to recover within two to four weeks, according to the WHO.

Anyone can spread the virus, but the current outbreak outside of Africa is concentrated almost exclusively among men who have sex with men.

Monkeypox spreads primarily via intimate skin-to-skin contact, usually with someone who has an active rash, as well as via contact with contaminated clothes or bedding. It is not as easily transmitted as the SARS-CoV-2 virus that spurred the COVID-19 pandemic.

"COVID is spread by respiratory route and is highly infectious. This doesn't appear to be the case with the monkeypox," said Dr. Martin Hirsch of Massachusetts General Hospital.

The risk of monkeypox is moderate globally, except in the Europe, where the WHO has deemed the risk as high.

WHY IS IT AN EMERGENCY?

Health officials from several countries had urged the WHO to label monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern due to the quick escalation of cases and concerns it may become endemic in more countries.

The emergency declaration aims to spur global action and collaboration on everything from testing to the production and distribution of vaccines and treatments.

The fatality rate in preceding monkeypox outbreaks in Africa of the strain currently spreading has been around 1%, but so far this outbreak appears to be less lethal in the non-endemic countries, many of which have stronger healthcare infrastructure.

Scientists are trying to determine what caused the initial spate of cases and whether anything about the virus has changed. Increased global travel as well as climate change have generally accelerated the emergence and spread of viruses, experts say.

Infectious disease experts say that years of financial neglect has left sexual health clinics - who are on the frontline of the current monkeypox response - ill-prepared to curb further spread.

PROTECTIVE MEASURES

Health officials say that people should avoid close personal contact with someone who has a illness presenting with a distinctive rash or who is otherwise unwell. People who suspect they have monkeypox should isolate and seek medical care.

Health officials have also been offering monkeypox vaccines to high-risk individuals and those that have recently been in close contact with an infected person.

Danish company Bavarian Nordic

An older vaccine, currently made by Emergent Biosolutions (NYSE:EBS), is called ACAM2000, but its uptake has been limited due to a severe side-effect warning.

Bavarian Nordic says it can produce 30 million doses of its vaccines - including the monkeypox one - each year, and has tapped a U.S.-based contract manufacturer to increase monkeypox vaccine capacity.

TREATMENT

Monkeypox symptoms often resolve on their own within weeks. Patients may receive extra fluids and additional treatment for secondary bacterial infections.

An antiviral agent called tecovirimat - branded as TPOXX and made by SIGA Technologies - has U.S. and EU approval for smallpox, while its European approval also includes monkeypox and cowpox.

Explainer-How worried should we be about the monkeypox global health emergency?
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email