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Monkeypox exposure in third Australian state

The latest case study comes as the WHO investigates reports that the virus is present in the sperm of infected patients.
WA Health disclosed a visitor to Perth last month who was found to have a monkey after returning to the UK.

The case reportedly lasted four days in the community but the detection of the victims had not been identified and health officials said there was no ongoing danger to the community, although five people had been identified as close associates.

Eight cases have been confirmed in Australia so far, five in New South Wales and three in Victoria, with the first being taken by the Sydney GP.

The latest mix of the disease comes as the World Health Organization (WHO) looks into reports that the monkey virus is already present in the sperm of infected patients.

Many of the latest cases have reportedly spread to more and more intimate partners – especially men who have had sex with men – but Dr Catherine Smallwood, director of monopoly events at WHO Europe, said it was unclear whether the virus could be transmitted sexually.

‘This may have been something we didn’t know about the disease before,’ he said.

‘We really need to focus on the normal mode of transmission, and we clearly see that that is associated with skin-to-skin contact.’

Monkeypox has been found in central and western Africa for decades but is now generating widespread interest due to its widespread expansion.

About 1600 confirmed cases and nearly 1500 suspected cases were found in 39 countries this year, including Europe and North America. For the first time, the disease is known to spread to people who do not have links to Africa.

The latest outbreak, described as ‘unusual’ by WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, created an emergency committee meeting scheduled for June 23 to decide whether to declare an international public health emergency.

“The magnitude of the outbreak poses a real threat,” Dr Hans Kluge, WHO’s regional director for WHO in Europe, told a news conference Wednesday.

‘The longer the virus travels, the more it will expand its reach, and the more the disease will spread in countries without the epidemic.’

The WHO is also expected to officially rename the virus, amid concerns about stigma and discrimination related to its current ‘racist’ name.

More than 30 international scientists have also recently written about the ‘urgent need’ of a ‘non-discriminatory and non-discriminatory term for the monology virus’.

Early symptoms of the disease include fever, swollen lymph nodes, muscle and joint pain, and fatigue.

Then there are rashes that usually start as flat, ulcers, which fill with fluid, and eventually crack and fall off over a period of 2-3 weeks.

The smallpox vaccine is very effective in fighting the disease, but the WHO has said that most people ‘vaccines are’ unnecessary and not recommended ‘at this time.

In case of contact, post-exposure prophylaxis is recommended as a ‘appropriate second or third generation vaccine’, preferably within four days of initial exposure to prevent the onset of the disease.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis is recommended for at-risk health workers, laboratory staff working with orthopoxviruses, clinical laboratory staff conducting monkey diagnostic tests, and others who may be at risk as per ‘national policy’.

News Reporter

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