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UAE reports five more monkeypox cases, two recoveries

Alarabiya News / Ayush Narayanan, Al Arabiya English

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The UAE announced five new cases of monkeypox in the country, the official Emirates news agency WAM reported citing the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) on Tuesday.

The report also said that two people recovered from the disease that the World Health Organization (WHO) called “self-limited with symptoms lasting from two to four weeks.”

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The first in-country case was detected on May 24 when a traveler from a west African country was found to be carrying the disease.

The ministry warned members of the public to take precautions against the disease during travel and social gatherings.

Monkeypox can spread through transmission of bodily fluids or sores on an infected person, or through materials they have touched such as clothing or bed linen, according to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

It can also be passed from mothers to babies in the womb.

The UAE introduced robust measures early on to prevent the spread of the zoonotic disease.

Patients will reportedly undergo complete isolation in hospitals until they recover, and anyone who has come into contact with infected individuals will be quarantined at home for no less than 21 days.

Their health will be closely monitored during the period of isolation.

Symptoms include headaches, fever, muscle aches, exhaustion, and distinctive sores on the skin.

Most people who catch the disease usually recover in a few weeks, but it does have a mortality rate of around 10 percent.

Health experts in the UAE told Al Arabiya English that smallpox vaccines may protect against monkeypox by up to 85 percent.

Also on Tuesday, the UK Health Security Agency said monkeypox would be designated as a notifiable infectious disease from Wednesday, meaning doctors in England will have to notify local authorities when they suspect a patient has the virus, Reuters reported.

Monkeypox was first identified in humans in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

With inputs from Al Arabiya English’s Tala Michel Issa and Marco Ferrari

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