HPA: Detection of monkeypox in the Maldives a possibility

A person infection with monkeypox.

Health Protection Agency (HPA), on Sunday, has urged the public to take precautions over the possibility of the detection of monkeypox cases in the Maldives which is currently widespread around the world.

The expanding monkeypox outbreak in more than 70 countries across the globe prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare the disease a global emergency.

In a statement released on Sunday evening following WHO’s declaration of monkeypox as a global emergency – HPA said that there are chances of detecting the disease in the Maldives based on its spread in other nations.

Underscoring that monkeypox is transmitted through close physical interactions between people – HPA stressed that the spread of the disease would take place much differently compared to COVID-19 which is primarily transmitted through respiratory droplets.  

With consideration of the present situation of the disease across the world – WHO has placed its risk level at mid-range. However, the threat of monkeypox outbreaks in European countries is much more imminent.

In their statement – HPA also noted that new modes of transmission have been identified in countries reporting first-time infections in comparison to modes of transmission observed previously in countries that have had known cases. On this note, the Agency stressed that monkeypox is mainly observed among men, especially those having same-gender sexual relations.

Nevertheless, HPA said that few cases of monkeypox have been observed amongst women and children.

“Although monkeypox cases are witnessed amongst certain groups of people in countries reporting infections for the first time – WHO has underscored difference in modes of transmission and its widespread in many nations as extremely concerning despite lack of severity in infections,” the statement also read.

Pointing out the lack of testing, medication and vaccination for monkeypox in the world at the moment – HPA highlighted the importance of all nations collaboratively working to control the disease.