Monkeypox may become endemic in US wild animals: Report

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New York, Aug 14 (IANS): Even as monkeypox cases continue to rise in the US, it is likely that the virus may become endemic in wild animals in the country, the media reported.

The US has recorded more than 9,000 cases across 49 states, according to the World Health Organization.

This exponential increase in the spread of monkeypox could make it nearly impossible to control and result in it becoming endemic among the wild animal population, Dr Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious-disease expert at University of California San Francisco was quoted as saying to the Los Angeles Times.

“When you look at the rates of increase, you can see that it’s really approaching an exponential curve. And unfortunately, it’s going to become harder and harder to control the higher these numbers get,” Chin-Hong said.

“Hopefully, we can contain this. But if not, it may bleed over into other populations.”

Although the virus has to date not claimed any life in the US, the infections are causing excruciating pain with patients facing trouble sleeping, walking, eating, drinking or going to the bathroom.

Doctors have advised patients to try and get tested early to identify the disease in time to prevent further spread.

“The rash can really look very innocent when it begins, like a pimple or like an ingrown hair. So that’s really why it’s really difficult for clinicians to diagnose it,” Chin-Hong said.

“If you can diagnose people, you can keep them away from people (who) are not infected.”

Meanwhile, the US government this week announced a new strategy to stretch its vaccines by allowing health professionals to vaccinate up to five people with each vial instead of one.

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