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Virologist explains why it is tough to control spread of monkeypox

Virologist explains why it is tough to control spread of monkeypox

FRIDAY, July 29, 2022

An expert virologist provided an insight into why it is difficult to control the spread of monkeypox.

In a Facebook post on Friday, Dr Yong Poovorawan said infected persons do not develop many initial symptoms, so the disease is difficult to diagnose.

Comparing monkeypox to HIV, he said 40 years ago HIV spread quickly because there were no initial symptoms, so patients took no precautions.

However, he said, the only difference is that monkeypox patients recover within two to four weeks and are no longer a threat to others.

Yong said the monkeypox virus is spreading and the spread is not likely to slow down. There are more than 17,000 patients in 75 countries, mostly in Europe and the US. So far, there have only been five deaths from monkeypox, and they were all in Africa.

He also pointed out that though the World Health Organisation report did not provide statistics, current information shows that more than 98 per cent of patients are men. He added that for now, the disease is spreading among men who have sex with men and that 40 per cent of the lesions occur in the genital region.

Yong said if the disease cannot be controlled, it will spread to others and even pets, which will make the disease even more difficult to control.