All six WHO Regions have now reported cases of monkeypox, and therefore ship operators are encouraged to follow the evolution of the outbreak and keep seafarers informed about the risks of infection.
On July 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the escalating global monkeypox outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). This is the highest level of alert that WHO can issue and underlines the organization’s concerns about the rapid spread of the disease.
- Symptoms: Monkeypox presents with fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion and an extensive characteristic rash that looks like pimples or blisters.
- Transmission: Monkeypox spreads in different ways. The virus can spread from person-to-person through:
- direct contact
- respiratory secretions
It is also possible for people to get monkeypox from infected animals, either by being scratched or bitten by the animal or by preparing or eating meat or using products from an infected animal.
- Prevention: Personal hygiene is paramount. Self-protection steps include avoiding skin-to-skin or face-to-face contact with anyone with symptoms, practicing safer sex, cleaning hands with water and soap or alcohol-based hand rub, and respiratory etiquette. In Central and West Africa, contact with animals that can spread monkeypox virus, usually rodents and primates, must be avoided.
- Reporting: Any rash-like illness should be immediately reported to a medic, including information about all recent travel, sexual history, and smallpox immunization history. The ill person should remain isolated.
General information and advice
For the latest official information and advice related to the monkeypox outbreak pls consult the following organizations’ websites dedicated to the disease:
- International Maritime Organization (IMO)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)