Monkeypox outbreaks in the Asia-Pacific region

Monkeypox outbreaks in the Asia-Pacific region

Context :

The World Health Organisation (WHO) ended the Mpox global health emergency more than a month ago. There has been a surge in reported cases from several nations, particularly in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific Region, even though the total number of cases worldwide is still declining.


  • Monkeypox is a viral disease brought on by the monkeypox virus, a kind of orthopoxvirus genus. There are two distinct clades: clade I and clade II.
  • A skin rash or mucosal lesions that might last 2-4 weeks are typical symptoms of Mpox, along with fever, headache, muscle aches, back discomfort, low energy, and enlarged lymph nodes.
  • Humans can contract the Mpox virus by coming into personal contact with a diseased person, contaminated objects, or infected animals.
  • By using PCR testing on skin lesion samples, mpox is confirmed in the lab.
  • Supportive care is used to treat measles. In some situations, smallpox vaccines and treatments that have been licenced for use in various nations can be utilised to treat mpox.
  • An international mpox outbreak in 2022–2023 was brought on by the clade IIb strain.
  • By avoiding direct contact with mpox patients, mpox can be prevented. For those who are vulnerable, vaccinations can help avoid infection.

Points to Ponder:

  • Since January 2022, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has recorded approximately 87,000 cases of monkeypox, including 146 fatalities.
  • While recorded cases have decreased globally generally in recent weeks, there has been an uptick in several areas, particularly in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific.
  • Spain and the United Kingdom have both reported new cases in Europe. However, thanks to vaccine initiatives and greater awareness, the significant outbreaks seen in 2022 have been brought under control.
  • Four cases of monkeypox were recently recorded in China, causing worry about the disease’s potential to spread across the nation. In Guangzhou, there were two cases documented and two in Beijing.
  • Additionally, Sri Lanka reported two cases involving people who had previously visited Dubai. Monkeypox was discovered earlier this year in Thailand, Taiwan, Pakistan, and Japan, with several individuals having a history of travel to the Middle East. Reports from the Middle East, however, do not point to a rise in the number of cases.
  • Monkeypox’s emergence into new areas is alarming since it shows the illness is spreading covertly and complicates containment efforts.
  • It has been difficult to identify and record cases in the Middle East because there hasn’t been a matching increase in cases that are reported. This emphasises the demand for enhanced reporting systems and a deeper comprehension of the local circumstance.
  • Monkeypox cases have also increased throughout the African continent, especially in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Nigeria.
  • Given the rise in globalisation and mobility, an effective response to the monkeypox outbreak depends on international public health initiatives, collaboration, and resource sharing.
  • Monkeypox pathogen genomic surveillance enables contact tracing and evolution tracking. However, the absence of genomic data from developing nations, notably Asia, makes it difficult to comprehend the disease’s spread completely.
  • Moving forward, it is essential to maintain vigilance and be ready for new difficulties. Monkeypox and other infectious diseases must be managed proactively by preventing infections and safeguarding vulnerable people.