HSE team outlines potential symptoms of Monkeypox virus 1 month ago

HSE team outlines potential symptoms of Monkeypox virus

As of 20 May, there have been 38 confirmed cases in the world.

The HSE has set up a Monkeypox Incident Management Team in order to prepare Ireland for potential cases of the virus.

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Dr Derval Igoe, the chair of the new team, spoke about the virus on RTÉ Radio One's Morning Ireland on Monday (23 May).

Monkeypox is a viral illness that usually causes mild symptoms and most people recover themselves without intervention.

Symptoms include a flu-like headache, temperature, aches and pains, followed by a rash all over the body.

Dr Igoe noted that cases are arising in Europe in people without a link to previous cases or without links to areas where the virus has been been before.

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New cases in Europe also don't share all of the symptoms of the original cases, with rashes more localised as opposed to over the full body.

The disease is spread via either droplets such as from coughing, or from close physical contact.

"The majority, but not all of the cases are in young men," Dr Igoe said.

"The cases have presented to sexual health clinics, so men may be presenting with a localised rash without generalised symptoms."

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Surveillance is underway across the world to understand why cases have started spread around the world.

Cases are being confirmed by the National Virus Reference Lab via a PCR test.

Dr Igoe encouraged anyone with symptoms to isolate and identify possible close contacts for the virus.

Close contacts are assessed by Public Health, and are asked to monitor temperatures and potential symptoms for 21 days following exposure.

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No deaths have yet to be recorded from monkeypox in Europe, and there have been two hospitalisations worldwide.

According to the European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), there have been 38 confirmed cases worldwide as of last Friday (20 May).

Anyone who believes they may have symptoms of the disease is being urged to visit their GP or their sexual health clinic.