UAE confirms three new monkeypox cases

Health authorities urge public to remain vigilant over spread of virus

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Editorial: Monkeypox must not become the next pandemic

The UAE recorded three new cases of monkeypox on Sunday, taking its total number of infections to 16.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention said the latest cases were identified due to "early monitoring and investigation".

The health authority urged members of the public to follow key preventive measures to protect against possible infection, particularly when travelling or in large crowds.

These include maintaining personal hygiene and avoiding physical contact with anyone who has skin rashes.

The ministry said health agencies across the Emirates were taking all necessary measures to control the spread of the virus.

Hospitals and medical centres in the Emirates have been advised to be on alert for symptoms, which include sores and lesions on the skin.

Confirmed cases will be treated in isolation in hospitals until the patients recover. Any close contact will quarantine at home for 21 days, with monitoring from UAE officials.

Monkeypox spread a 'global emergency'

The World Health Organisation declared on Saturday that the rapidly expanding monkeypox outbreak now qualifies as a global emergency.

WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the outbreak, which is now in more than 70 countries, as an “extraordinary” situation.

He made the decision to issue the alert despite a lack of consensus among experts serving on the UN health agency's emergency committee. It is the first time the chief of the UN health agency has taken such an action.

Declaring a global emergency means the WHO fears the monkeypox outbreak could spill over into more countries and requires a co-ordinated response.

More than 16,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported in 74 countries since about May, figures compiled by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention show.

To date, monkeypox deaths have only been reported in Africa, where a more dangerous version of the virus is spreading, mainly in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

What are the symptoms and how is it treated?

Most monkeypox patients experience fever, body aches, chills and fatigue. People with more serious cases may develop a rash and lesions on the face and hands. The lesions can spread to other parts of the body.

In general, recovery takes about two to four weeks without the need to be admitted to hospital, but monkeypox can be fatal in up to 6 per cent of cases and is thought to be more severe in children.

Smallpox vaccines are effective against monkeypox and antiviral drugs are also being developed.

The World Health Organisation estimates there are thousands of monkeypox infections in about a dozen African countries every year. Most are in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which reports about 6,000 cases annually, and Nigeria, with about 3,000 cases a year.

Updated: July 25, 2022, 5:04 AM
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