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Australia's Top Doctor Declares Monkeypox Is Now A Disease Of 'National Significance'

Stewart Perrie

| Last updated 

Australia's Top Doctor Declares Monkeypox Is Now A Disease Of 'National Significance'

Australia's chief medical officer has declared monkeypox (MPX) is now a Communicable Disease Incident of National Significance.

There have been dozens of monkeypox infections in Australia since the outbreak began earlier this year.

Authorities are worried it could continue to spread and therefore have made this important declaration to esure the powers that be have enough resources to fight it.

Professor Paul Kelly said designating it an incident of national significance comes after the World Health Organization said monkeypox was a 'public health emergency of international concern'.

A chief medical adviser has warned of more UK cases of monkeypox. Credit: Alamy
A chief medical adviser has warned of more UK cases of monkeypox. Credit: Alamy

"The decision to declare MPX a Communicable Disease Incident of National Significance was made under the Emergency Response Plan for Communicable Disease Incidents of National Significance, in consultation with the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee," he said.

"Since May, Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care public health experts have engaged with at-risk communities in partnership with key stakeholders and have been working very closely with their counterparts in state and territory health departments to ensure our response to MPX has been swift and coordinated.

"The National Incident Centre has been activated to provide enhanced national coordination to assist states and territories to effectively manage the outbreaks within their jurisdictions."

Professor Kelly said monkeypox isn't as easily transmitted as Covid-19.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Thankfully, there have been no deaths reported from the virus, however it can result in a raft of symptoms that some people online are suggesting are far worse than the coronavirus.

"MPX’s rash and flu-like symptoms are relatively mild, and in most cases, resolve themselves within two to four weeks without the need for specific treatments," Professor Kelly said.

"The rash usually occurs on the face before spreading to other parts of the body, including the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.

"However, in this outbreak it is being seen especially on the genital and perianal regions of affected people.

"The rash can vary from person to person and take on the appearance of pimples, blisters or sores.

"The flu-like symptoms often include fever, chills, body aches, headaches, swollen lymph nodes and tiredness."

Professor Kelly said there is a vaccine available for monkeypox, however, it will be up to individual states and territories to formally request vaccine stockpiles to be distributed to affected areas.

While there have only been 44 recorded cases in Australia, there have been more than 20,000 cases across 71 countries.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy. CDC C.S. Goldsmith, R.Regnery 2003

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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