Sun, 26 Jun 2022

DUBLIN, Ireland: Ireland's Health Service Executive (HSE) reports that it has brought together experts to plan for how the country will respond to the first cases of monkeypox being diagnosed in the country.

Due to outbreaks of monkeypox in Europe, Dr Graham Fry, director of the Tropical Medical Bureau travel health clinics, said he anticipates the disease will also reach Ireland.

Monkeypox is described as a mild disease, with those infected showing symptoms of fever, sweats and shakes and a general flu-like condition.

The virus has already been diagnosed in the UK.

Officials note that the HSE's Health Protection Surveillance Service has put together a response team to prepare for an outbreak in Ireland.

Initial reports said the cases of monkeypox have been confined to men sexually transmitting the virus to other men, according to Fry.

Largely, those infected display unsightly pox-type nodules on the body.

"A team has been established to monitor this evolving situation and prepare services for the possibility of monkeypox cases arising in Ireland," according to a spokesperson for the HSE.

In an interview with the Irish Mirror, Fry said, "This is likely to happen, as we have a lot of people coming here from all over the world."

"I would expect it to come here and would be surprised if it didn't. But I wouldn't be worried about it. Generally, people will get through it. I don't think it's going to be the next Covid. But it could be a nuisance."

Fry noted that monkeypox is not a new disease, but has only been seen in Africa.

In the UK there have been nine cases diagnosed.

It has been further established that among the cases in Europe, the disease was introduced by men who have returned from west Africa.

"As with any viral disease, it can be more serious in people who are immunocompromised or have an underlying illness," noted Fry.

"There is no cure or treatment - like there isn't for chicken pox - and it is just a matter of your own body's immune system sorting out the problem with time," added Fry.

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