Health officers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are stepping up safety standards to guard against the possible spread of the monkeypox virus.
Both Dubai Health Authority and Abu Dhabi Department of Health have asked medical facilities on Friday, 20 May, to stay alert over the virus in notices that were issued yesterday.
A notice from the Dubai Health Authority has stated the need to “enhance and promote the early detection of the disease”.
It stated it was increasing the level of epidemiological supervision of cases of monkeypox in Dubai with immediate effect.
On Wednesday, Massachusetts, on the east coast of the United States, reported a case of monkeypox in a man who journeyed recently to Canada.
Health officials are analysing whether it is linked to small outbreaks in Europe.
Monkeypox is generally limited to Africa, and few cases in the US and elsewhere are typically linked to travel there.
Concerns are rising over the spread of infection, with the WHO (World Health Organisation) holding an emergency meeting to discuss the outbreak of the virus on Friday.
Around 80 cases of the virus have been confirmed in 11 nations, stated WHO.
Monkeypox is a rare disease that wild animals usually spread in central and west Africa. It can be acquired from infected wild animals, mainly rodents like rats, mice and squirrels.
An animal bite can infect an individual or if he/she comes in contact with an animal’s blood or even bodily fluids.
It may also be possible to be infected by monkeypox by eating meat from an infected person that has not been cooked properly.
Human transmission can also happen via touching towels or bedding of an infected person, touching blisters caused due to monkeypox or through sneezes and coughs.
It usually takes five to 21 days for beginning symptoms to occur. These include headache, high temperature, backache, muscle ache, swollen glands, chills, shivering and exhaustion.
The monkeypox rash is another symptom that starts on the face and spreads to other body parts. Symptoms usually go away in two to four weeks.
The global health body stated that other 50 suspected infections are being checked.
Earlier, infections were confirmed in Italy, Canada, Spain, Sweden, Portugal, the US and the UK.
The DHA stressed that WHO had “noted that the likelihood of spread from Europe globally is heightened”.