Monkeypox outbreak result of ignoring early warning signs, say experts. Read here

Even as Monkeypox cases are surging globally, with Argentina adding up to the list of countries, scientists and health experts have suggested that early sign sof Monkeypox virus symptoms had been ignored and that resulted in this unprecedented outbreak of the same. 

Mostly Monkeypox cases are being reported from endemic countries like Europe and US. 

Read below to know how the Monkeypox outbreak could have been a result of ignorance.  

Warnings of Monkeypox virus ignored

Former director of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu, told STAT News that Nigeria sought global help beginning in 2017 for an unprecedented outbreak of monkeypox virus. The outbreak continues to this day, with the country detecting 558 suspected cases, according to WHO.

“From September 2017 to 30 April 2022, a total of 558 suspected cases have been reported from 32 states in the country. Of these, 241 were confirmed cases, and among these, there were eight deaths recorded,” says WHO. 

The outbreak in Nigeria has a lot of parallels to those seen in other countries. The infectious cases began out of the blue in multiple parts of the country and spread person-to-person, a transmission pattern that is unusual for the virus. 

Scientists commence Gene Sequencing

Scientists globally are beginning to uncover clues about the origin of the current outbreak by conducting gene sequencing. By sequencing a skin lesion sample from a patient in Portugal, researchers from the National Health Institute Doutor Ricardo Jorge in Lisbon said that the recent strain of the circulating virus likely belongs to the West African clade.

Additionally, the researchers determined that the virus is most closely related to cases that spread from Nigeria to the UK, Israel and Singapore in 2018 and 2019. The World Health Organization has reported that there is no evidence that the virus has mutated.

The draft genome was published online last week and provides helpful information, but questions about the true origin and spread of the virus remain unanswered.

Roche develops PCR Tests to track Monkeypox

Roche announced on Wednesday that it has developed three virus kits in response to the developing Monkeypox concerns.

The three kits offer unique approaches to tracking the virus. One kit detects orthopoxviruses, including all monkeypox viruses from both West African and Central African clades while a second kit is more specific, detecting monkeypox viruses only. A third kit offers a combination of both tests, detecting orthopoxviruses and providing information on if the monkeypox virus is present or not.

The tests rely on quantitative PCR technology and are currently available for research use in the majority of countries worldwide.

Monkeypox vs Covid-19

Experts are saying the Monkeypox virus does not pose the same threat as Covid-19.

Head of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, Richard Hatchett, told CNBC that while the epidemic and spread of monkeypox is concerning, it is a very different disease than Covid-19. Namely, the disease is not spread through respiratory transmission the same way as Covid-19.

However, even though the disease is likely not to become a worldwide pandemic, experts still warn and caution citizens to take steps to prevent themselves from becoming infected.

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