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Monkeypox: Malaysians Fear Another Pandemic, Health DG Says No Need To Panic

Monkeypox: Malaysians Fear Another Pandemic, Health DG Says No Need To Panic

Monkeypox is usually a mild viral illness, with symptoms including fever and a distinctive bumpy rash.

Fernando Fong

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The risk of the monkeypox virus spreading to Malaysia is low unless an individual has a history of contact with infected animals or direct contact with patients.

Director-General of Health, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, said the possibility of human-to-human transmission of the virus is limited.

He said an infection of orthopoxviruses causes monkeypox. The virus is transmitted to humans through bites or direct contact with animal blood or body fluids and wounds of infected animals.

The virus can also be spread through respiratory droplets.

The monkey smallpox virus can also be transmitted through direct contact with fluids from maculopapular rashes on an infected person’s body or with objects contaminated with the virus, such as bedding or clothing.

Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah on how a person get monkeypox.

He added that the incubation period is usually between six to 21 days and one will experience symptoms for two to four weeks.

The Health Ministry had also issued a comprehensive statement on the matter.

Less Contagious Than Covid-19, But Cases Continue To Spread

Previously, the media reported an outbreak of smallpox in several European countries.

The list includes the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, France, Italy and Germany, and the United States, Canada and Australia.

Rising cases are suspected to be linked to the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

As of Friday, more than 100 cases were reported, either confirmed or suspected.

Most cases of infection do not report a history of travel to countries known to be endemic to the disease.

READ MORE: What You Need To Know About Monkeypox And Is There A Vaccine?

Preliminary reports stated that some cases were infected through direct contact with smallpox patients.

The global spread of monkeypox outside Africa is causing alarm among Malaysians.

There are fears it would infect people like the coronavirus epidemic has.

Is There A Vaccine For Monkeypox?

An approved vaccine for monkeypox—MVA-BN—is not widely available.

Tecovirimat (TPOXX), as both oral and IV medication, is approved in the U.S. for treating smallpox and oral form in Europe to treat cowpox, monkeypox, and smallpox.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also approved brincidofovir (Tembexa) in 2021 to treat smallpox.

Because the monkeypox virus is closely related to the virus that causes smallpox, the smallpox vaccine can protect people from getting monkeypox.

Past data from Africa suggests that the smallpox vaccine is at least 85% effective in preventing monkeypox.


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