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Next Pandemic? Experts Warn That Monkeypox May Spread Globally

The outbreak of monkeypox across Europe and abroad in May caught many public health experts off guard. However, the main surprise for scientists who had watched and studied the viral epidemic in Central and West Africa for years was seeing how precise their forecasts had been.

Monkeypox is a vivid example of what occurs when such warnings are disregarded, with more than 80,000 confirmed cases in more than 100 countries as of this writing.

Scientists See Monkeypox as New Global Health Problem

Scientists like Yinka-Ogunleye and epidemiologist Anne Rimoin have accumulated decades of expertise researching how the virus spreads. Rimoin has been working on monkeypox outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since 2002.

Their fieldwork has influenced the worldwide response, but there is still a lot more to learn. According to Rimoin, who is situated at the University of California, Los Angeles, there are many questions that we need to solve (UCLA).

However, the testing would take a few weeks and could not be done in Nigeria. In the interim, word of their inquiry spread, and people began to worry about a possible health emergency.

Even without all the information, the pressure was rising on the NCDC team to make a statement. To discuss their suspicion that monkeypox was the reason, the scientists made the decision to go on the radio. If anyone noticed any symptoms, they were urged to report it.

They discovered 122 verified and probable instances in a single year, along with seven fatalities. It is possible that the protection provided by the smallpox vaccine in the 1980s was diminishing in this population because over 70% of the cases were in men, many of whom were adults.

The study also discovered that monkeypox had never truly disappeared, explaining why it appeared to abruptly return in Nigeria after such a long absence.

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WHO Renames Monkeypox to Mpox 

The outbreak of monkeypox across Europe and abroad in May caught many public health experts off guard.

Moreover, Monkeypox has been renamed to Mpox by the World Health Organization as a result of complaints that the disease’s name is racist and stigmatizing.

After extensive discussions with international experts, WHO will start using the new preferred name pox as a synonym for monkeypox. As monkeypox is eliminated, both names will be used interchangeably for a year.

There has never been a greater need for investigations of the scope of the disease in Africa, according to Yinka-Ogunleye and Rimoin, as monkeypox is now regarded by the World Health Organization as a global public health emergency.

At least eight nations, including Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, and Liberia, have endemic monkeypox, and during the current worldwide outbreak, cases have been documented there as well as in other nations across the continent.

READ MORE: ‘Zombie Virus’ Has Been Revived After 50,000 Years, Prompting Concerns from People

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