virus, monkeypox

Turkey has not registered cases of contagion by monkeypox

Health authorities are concerned because contagion of the monkeypox virus occurs between people, and that have not been to Africa.

Turkey has not yet registered any cases of contagion of monkeypox, the Eurasian country’s Health Ministry confirmed on Sunday in an attempt to quell rumours and growing concern among the Turkish population about a disease endemic to Africa that is spreading quickly across several European countries.

“We are following in detail all the news about monkeypox. So far, no case has been detected (in Turkey),” the Turkish General Agency for Public Health, depending on the Health Ministry, announced yesterday in a statement. The disease, transmitted by a virus present in primates and rodents and endemic to central and western Africa, is transmitted by contact and also by inhalation of suspended droplets, the agency explained.

“Monkeypox is a rare zoonotic disease, the symptoms of which usually last 14 to 21 days and disappear on their own,” the statement said, adding that Turkish authorities are in contact with the WHO and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, as well as with those countries where the virus has been detected, including Spain, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Spain is for now the European country where the most cases have been detected, but the health authorities in the UK have expressed concern about the unusual appearance of cases among people with no link to Africa, mainly among young men – but also in women – who hadn’t even been to Africa. The main symptoms of monkeypox are fever, chills, rashes, and pus blister-like lesions on the face, hands, feet, and genitals, which eventually scab over and fall off.

Although no cases have yet been detected in Turkey, in those countries where multiple infections have already been registered the fact that cases of human-to-human transmission are being detected – something quite unusual – is worrying. Although the WHO indicates that the disease is fatal in 1 in 10 people, health authorities assure that there are treatments and vaccines available, so there is no need to fear another pandemic.