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Monkey pox has “different mechanisms of spread”, said Dr. Anne Rimoin, a professor of epidemiology at the UCLA School of Public Health, noted Sunday.
Rimoin, who has studied the virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for two decades, explained how the monkeypox virus can spread after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared it now a Public Health Emergency. International Concern (PHEIC).
Speaking on Fox News Live, Rimoin noted, “we know a lot about monkeypox in a low-resource setting, in places like the DRC, but we really have to be humble about what we know about how this virus spreads in a high-resource setting.” with the.
“What we’re seeing now is that this virus is spreading very quickly in very close human-to-human contact,” he continued, stressing that the virus “can spread in many different ways.”
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The monkeypox expert noted that the virus can also be spread through so-called fomites, which include bed sheets, clothing and towels that carry the infection.
He also pointed out that “very close personal contact” is another reason for the rapid spread.
Rimoin noted that in Africa, the virus is often spread by contact with animals.
“And then we can often see this person-to-person contact, and it goes on and it can be from someone who’s sick, the sores come into contact with bedding, clothing, those things, and then someone else who comes in contact can get it,” – he explained.
While the United Nations (UN) health agency has already discussed the issue, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus explained in a briefing on Saturday that the Emergency Committee of the International Health Regulations (IHR) had agreed to the transmission of the virus at that time. does not mean [PHEIC].”
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Since then, he noted, the monkey epidemic has escalated, with more than 16,000 cases reported from 75 countries and territories. As of Saturday, five deaths have been confirmed.
Tedros said that although the risk of disruption to international traffic remains low, there is still a risk of international spread. According to the WHO’s current assessment, the risk of monkeypox worldwide and in all regions except Europe is moderate. The risk is assessed as high.
Although the monkeypox virus has been present in central and western Africa for decades, it was not known until last May to cause large outbreaks outside the continent or spread widely among humans. In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 2,891 confirmed cases of monkeypox and orthopoxvirus, most of them in New York, where vaccination efforts have faced technical problems.
Rimoin stressed that “viruses never stay in a community.”
“We all live together, there’s a lot of travel, there’s a lot of shopping, there’s a lot of mobility, so that’s what we’re going to see,” he warned.
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Monkeypox, which is related to chickenpox, has milder symptoms and includes fever, chills, rash, and pain before the sores develop.
FOX News’ Julia Musto and The Associated Press contributed to this report.