Monkeypox on the rise in Europe and on the way to Russia

The likelihood for monkeypox to appear in Russia is small, but the infection may find itself in Russia anyway, epidemiologists say. The pandemic potential of the disease is quite low.

Representatives for French and Belgian authorities reported first cases of monkeypox infection in humans. According to the French Ministry of Health, the first case of the infection was recorded in the metropolitan region of Ile-de-France. Monkeypox was detected in a 29-year-old man. The individual was put in self-isolation. The patient says that he does not see any complications in how the illness develops.

Monkeypox is prevalent in Western and Central Africa. The virus spreads mostly among animals such as rodents and non-human apes. It can be contagious to humans as well.

Humans may contract monkeypox through large respiratory droplets. As droplets cannot travel far, prolonged face-to-face contact is needed to contract the infection. The virus can also enter the body through bodily fluids, lesion material, or indirect contact with lesion material.

In recent years, monkeypox virus incidence in Africa has increased dramatically due to the weakening of large-scale population vaccination programs against smallpox.

The incubation period for monkeypox counts from one to three weeks.

  • The disease begins with high fever, chills, muscle pain — pronounced flu-like symptoms.
  • Rash appears 1-2 days after the onset of the disease.
  • The rash first covers the face and then the torso. It may also affect the genitalia.
  • The rash ripens into pimples filled with liquid.

A person is particularly contagious at this stage of the disease.

The death rate from the monkeypox virus amounts to about four percent. The disease may cause a lethal outcome if it affects organs and systems; it may also occur if a person has chronic diseases. High-quality treatment reduces mortality dramatically.

In 2003 and 2013, large outbreaks were reported in the United States and in Europe. There are 13 cases in Canada, nine in Britain, a few in Spain and Portugal, isolated cases were reported in Sweden, Italy and France.

During outbreaks in the United States, not a single lethal case was reported.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team, Editor: Dmitry Sudakov