What is monkeypox?

MonkeypoxLONDON (AP) — European and American health authorities have identified a number of cases of monkeypox this week, a surprising outbreak of an illness that has previously been limited mostly to central and western Africa.

Doctors are still unsure how exactly monkeypox is spreading. The disease is normally transmitted either from wild animals like rodents and primates or from very close contact with infected people.

British officials say most recent cases have been men who have had sex with men — and who had no history of travel to Africa. That suggests the disease is already spreading in the country.

Health officials in Spain have reported seven cases of monkeypox and Portugal updated its number of confirmed cases to 14.

The outbreak expanded in Europe on Thursday as Italy and Sweden also identified monkeybox cases.

Spanish health officials say all of their reported cases to date involved men in Madrid. No details were given as to whether the men had traveled to Africa.

Meanwhile, the tally of confirmed cases in Britain rose to nine.

According to the Center for Disease Control, monkeypox is a rare disease that was first discovered in monkeys in 1958.

Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion. Legions usually develop within 1-3 days. The illness can last 2-4 weeks.

The disease can be transmitted from animal to human by bite or scratch. Typically it is transmitted through broken skin, respiratory tract, or mucus membranes like the eyes, nose and mouth.

For prevention, the CDC recommends avoiding contact with sick animals who may be infected and practicing good hygiene such as washing your hands frequently and using an alcohol based hand sanitizer.

Categories: National News