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Monkeypox Cases 2022 Outbreak

Monkeypox Cases 2022 Outbreak

Monkeypox is the latest outbreak in the spotlight after the life-threatening COVID-19 pandemic. The world is already struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic. Amidst the pandemic, a new virus is crawling in the name of monkeypox. On 23 Jul 2022, Monkeypox Cases outbreak was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) by the Director-General of WHO.

A PHEIC is defined in the IHR (2005) as “an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response.” This definition implies a situation that is:

  • Serious, sudden, unusual, or unexpected.
  • Carries implications for public health beyond the affected State’s national border and
  • may require immediate international action.

What is monkeypox, how it looks like, spread and the association of monkeypox with pregnancy are discussed in the articles. After reading this article, you will get information on the monkeypox 2022 outbreak and its association with smallpox.

What does monkeypox mean?

Monkey Pox
© Pete [Pixabay]

Monkeypox is a few-and-far-between disease caused by the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus and Variola virus are parts of the same family. Variola virus is the virus that causes smallpox.

Monkeypox might be a less familiar word for you, but it is not a new disease. It was first identified in the year 1958.

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The first human infection was identified in 1970, preceding the 2022 outbreak in Congo in a child.

Monkeypox is a zoonotic viral infection that can spread from animals to humans.

What monkeypox looks like?

Monkeypox rashes
© Google

This disease is primarily characterized by rashes on or near the genitals or anus. Apart from this, rashes can be located on other parts of the human body, including hands and feet.

The rash looks similar to a pimple, and it is painful and itchy.

Other symptoms of monkeypox are fatigue, headache, body ache, sore throat/cough/nasal congestion, fever, chills, and swollen lymph nodes.

The incubation period of monkeypox is typically from 6 to 13 days. The disease is harrowing and has resulted in a lot of suffering.

How monkeypox spreads?

Monkeypox primarily spreads through contact with infected bodily fluids, blood, or cutaneous animals.

Human transmission can occur by direct contact with infected respiratory tract secretion or a physical object contaminated by an infected patient’s fluid.

What is Monkeypox Outbreak 2022?

The world is already suffering from a pandemic that wreaks havoc across the globe. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, another nonendemic disease has been reported since May 2022 in the name of monkeypox.

Most confirmed cases have a travel history of European and northern countries.

This is the first incident where cases and clusters have been identified repeatedly in scattered geographical locations.

So far, identified cases are reported by sexual health or health services and mainly involve but are not limited to, a male having sex with a male.

However, WHO is issuing measures to control the outbreak of the disease and collaborating with other health services to prevent the further spread of the disease.

Monkeypox cases?

Since the outbreak of monkeypox and as of 11 Oct 2022, 20,455 cases have been reported from 29 European Union/ European Economic area countries.

Spain, France, Germany, Portugal, and the Netherlands are the countries that have reported the most cases since the start of the outbreak.

Four deaths have been reported in Spain, Belgium, and Czechia.

Monkeypox cases in the US: The total confirmed cases of monkeypox in the US as of 17 Oct 2022 are 27,468.

Monkeypox and pregnancy?

There is no clear association between pregnancy and monkeypox more detailed research is required to understand the transmission of the virus from mother to fetus and newborn post-pregnancy.

But the available data suggest that monkeypox is a risk factor for the fetus. It is advised that pregnant mothers must avoid close contact with the identified cases of monkeypox.

In case you think you contacted someone accidentally, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your healthcare provider.

What is the relationship between monkeypox and smallpox?

Monkeypox and smallpox resemble each other clinically. Smallpox is an orthodox virus infection that has been rooted out.

The fatality rate of smallpox was 30%, with easy transmission. The last identified case of smallpox was in 1977 and posted, in 1980, smallpox was declared a root disease worldwide with the help of vaccination campaigns.

However, smallpox no longer occurs naturally, but WHO remains vigilant if it might occur again via natural mechanisms or laboratory accidents. Newer vaccines, diagnostics, and antiviral agents are being developed as global preparedness in case of the reoccurrence of the disease.

Can monkeypox cause death?

The death rate from monkeypox is 0.4% so far compared to the retrospective data, a sigh of relief for scientists.

This rate is significantly less than 1-3% reported by a similar outbreak in west Africa over the past few decades.

The visible death rate might result from biased data collection as most African countries might not be recording the actual deaths caused by a virus during the outbreak due to limited resources for surveillance.

Some people have been hospitalized for life-threatening conditions such as inflammation of the brain or difficulty breathing.

Who are at higher risk and some severe outcomes?

Deaths caused by monkeypox are not surprising but a red alert. Evidently so far people who died due to monkeypox were severely immune compromised or developed encephalitis.

Researchers have also observed seizures in previous cases of monkeypox. It is far beyond a disease just than respiratory or skin disease.

Although most of the identified cases so far are the result of sexual contact. More research is required to identify the group at higher risk and the fastest route of transmission.


  • Monkeypox is a contagious disease that spreads from human to human and from animal to human as well.
  • Closed sexual contact is the most commonly identified cause of monkeypox transmission.
  • The fatality rate is, however, considerably low, but it is imperative and advisable to avoid contact with the identified cases considerably for pregnant women.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
© Louis [Pixabay]

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a few-and-far-between disease caused by the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus and Variola virus are parts of the same family. Variola virus is the virus that causes smallpox.

Monkeypox cases in the US?

The total confirmed cases of monkeypox in the US as of 17 Oct 2022 are 27,468.

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