Monkeypox symptoms, diagnosis, treatments and vaccines
- More than 16,000 confirmed cases have been recorded in 75 countries so far this year, says WHO.
- First symptoms can include a fever, headaches, sharp muscle pains, fatigue, a rash, and swollen and painful lymph nodes.
- Monkeypox has long been endemic in Central and Western Africa.
PARIS: The World Health Organisation declared monkeypox a global health emergency at the weekend, as calls grow for swift action to stop the spread of the virus.
More than 16,000 confirmed cases have been recorded in 75 countries so far this year, the WHO said on Monday.
Here is an overview of the symptoms, diagnosis, treatments and vaccines.
The first symptoms can include a fever, headaches, sharp muscle pains, fatigue, a rash, as well as swollen and painful lymph nodes.
Around one to three days after the appearance of a fever, a rash can turn into painful, fluid-filled skin lesions.
After a few days or weeks, the lesions or sores turn into scabs, before falling off.
Monkeypox has long been endemic in Central and Western Africa. In countries elsewhere that have recorded cases since May, the lesions have been more common around the genitals and anus, as well as on the mouth.
On Monday, the UK Health Security Agency expanded its list of symptoms to include just one or two genital or anal lesions, as well as rectal pain or bleeding.
Symptoms have varied between patients, however. They usually last between two to four weeks, and the virus is contagious until the rash has fully healed.
Most of the recent global cases have been in men who have been intimate with men and have recently been with a new partner, according to the WHO.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week found that 95% of cases were transmitted through sexual activity.
Diagnosing the virus can be difficult due to its inconsistent symptoms, which can resemble sexually transmitted infections, several health authorities have warned.
Europe has been the epicentre of the outbreak, with many cases among younger men living in cities, according to the WHO.
Confirming a case of monkeypox may require a PCR test or a sample or biopsy of a skin lesion.
Those with potential cases must isolate while waiting for test results. Once the virus is confirmed, isolation is recommended for three weeks.
Monkeypox has been detected in semen but is not considered a sexually transmitted disease, instead spreading through close physical contact. The European Centre for Disease Prevention (ECDC) recommends using a condom for 12 weeks after recovery.
The disease usually heals by itself after two to three weeks, sometimes taking a month.
In many cases, the only treatment needed is to address the symptoms, such as clearing up a fever or soothing the itching.
Sometimes the lesions can become extremely painful, however, requiring serious painkillers or even hospital treatment.
The most severe cases have been seen in children, pregnant women and people with comprised immune systems.
No deaths have been reported so far in Europe or the United States.
People with monkeypox are advised not to scratch the lesions, as this could spread the virus or leave a scar, and to cover them to avoid the temptation.
The European Medicines Agency has approved a smallpox medication, Tecovirimat, for monkeypox treatment.
A smallpox vaccine from Danish drug maker Bavarian Nordic, marketed under the name Jynneos in the United States and Imvanex in Europe, has also been found to protect against monkeypox.
The European Commission approved its use for monkeypox on Monday.
It can also have a “significant protective effect” if administered within four days of exposure to a monkeypox case, according to the ECDC.
Countries such as Britain, Canada, France and the United States have started offering vaccination to those most at risk of the virus.
The vaccine is given in two doses, at least 28 days apart. But for people vaccinated against smallpox as children, one dose is enough. For people with comprised immune systems, a third dose is recommended.
As the vaccines do not provide immediate or total protection, health authorities advise caution after receiving an injection.
The United States also has many doses of the older generation ACAM2000 smallpox vaccine, but it is not recommended for everyone because of significant side effects.
Sham Idrees announces break in his marriage with Froggy
YouTube’s famous couple Sham Idrees and Froggy aka Sehar are taking sometime away from each other in their relationship.
Sham, taking it to his Instagram, left his fans in a shock after announcing his separation with Froggy. He wrote: “I would like to announce that me and froggy are taking sometime away from each other in our relationship. Please don’t involve me in issues concerning froggy, rabil or any of the other family members. I appreciate some privacy during this difficult time.”
Sham is a Canadian based YouTuber, who has a following of 1.4 million people on Instagram, is widely-known for his entertaining content. His videos often feature his wife Sehar along with him.
The couple tied the knot a few years ago and is parents to baby Sierra who is two-years old. The duo welcomed another daughter on September 28, 2022. They named her Shanaya Idrees.
After the birth of his first daughter, Sham Idrees also introduced his fans to his daughter Dua from his previous marriage.
Massive power breakdown hits Pakistan
- Minister says power generation units are temporarily shut in winter at night.
- Says frequency variation in national grid triggered outage.
- Says ministry trying to restore power in next 12 hours.
LAHORE/KARACHI/QUETTA/ISLAMABAD: A countrywide power breakdown, triggered by a “frequency variation” in the national grid early Monday morning, has left large parts of the country including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and Quetta without electricity.
Power Minister Khurrum Dastagir, while talking to Geo News, said that the power generation units are temporarily shut down in winter at night as an economic measure to save fuel costs.
“When the systems were turned on at 7:30am this morning one by one, frequency variation was reported in the southern part of the country between Jamshoro and Dadu. There was a fluctuation in voltage and power generating units were shut down one by one due to cascading impact. This is not a major crisis,” said the federal minister as the country plunged into darkness for the second time in four months.
The minister said that his ministry has started restoring some grid stations in Tarbela and Warsak.
“Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) and some grids of Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) have already been restored,” claimed the minister.
Talking about the breakdown in Karachi, the minister said that the matter in the port city is complicated as it has a complete electric supply system.
“We provide K-Electric about 1,000-1,100 megawatts routinely, however, it will be restored within a few hours. It is not certain how long will it take to sort this issue. However, my target is to restore electricity in the country in the next 12 hours,” said the minister.
Before the energy ministry’s announcement, different power distribution companies had confirmed the breakdown.
According to Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO), the two transmission lines have tripped leaving 22 districts of Balochistan, including Quetta without power.
Karachi power update
Meanwhile, K-Electric spokesperson Imran Rana said that at approximately 7:34am today, the national grid experienced a loss of frequency, affecting the power supply to multiple cities across Pakistan
“This has also cascaded to KE’s network affecting power supply to Karachi,” Rana said, adding the KE’s network is safe and protected.
“Our teams are actively monitoring the situation and enabling restoration efforts.”
An IESCO spokesperson said that its 117 grid stations were without electricity.
Meanwhile, PESCO also confirmed the outage in areas where it supplies electricity.
This is the second time within four months that a country was hit by a major power breakdown.
NEPRA takes notice
The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), in a statement, said that it has taken “serious notice” of the power outage and directed the National Transmission & Despatch Company (NTDC) to submit a “detailed report”.
The statement also said that the regulator has previously imposed fines on similar outages in the 2021 and 2022. It also shared that NEPRA has consistently issued directives and recommendations on tackling such events in future.
In October of last year, Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Quetta, Multan, and Faisalabad were hit by a power outage.
At that time, the power minister said that nearly 8,000 megawatts of power went offline.
Back then, Dastagir had said that the simultaneous faults in two power lines, which had triggered the breakdown, at the same time was concerning for the government. He had also announced that an in-depth inquiry was ordered and promised action.
A timeline of power breakdowns in Pakistan
The country’s generation and distribution network has suffered eight major power breakdowns during the last nine years.
In 2014 and 2017, nationwide blackouts were caused by a fault in Tarbela Power Station while fog, frequency variation and the Guddu Power Plant fault were blamed for breakdowns in 2015, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022 and 2023.
Every time the party in power announced to conduct a comprehensive probe and vowed to rectify the issues but nothing has happened despite multiple inquiries.
Punjab ordered to issue divorce certificates to non-Muslims
- Lahore High Court directs provincial authority to frame rules within 90 days.
- Petitioner says issue is faced by many members of Christian community.
- NADRA’s Registration Policy allows change of marital status on basis of affidavit.
The Lahore High Court (LHC) Wednesday directed the Punjab government to frame, within 90 days, rules under which union councils would issue divorce certificates to members of Christian and other non-Muslim communities in Pakistan.
In many parts of the country, the divorce certificates are not issued to non-Muslims by union councils that instead claimed such certificates were “not issued to the Christian community.” This is an issue for members of the said community because, without a divorce certificate, they cannot request the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to update their marital status while applying for the renewal of their identity cards.
The matter was brought to the attention of the LHC during the case Shumaila Sharif vs the secretary union council etc.
The petitioner in her appeal requested that the court is a writ of Mandamus — an order from a court to an inferior government official ordering the government official to properly — against the relevant union council and direct it to issue her the divorce certificate.
The case proceedings
The petition was heard on December 16 last year and the presiding judge was Judge Tariq Saleem Sheikh.
During the proceedings, the counsel of the petitioner, Advocate Umar Saeed, said that the issue was faced by several people in the Christian community and was not a one-off incident.
Citing Section 33 (1)(j) of the Punjab Local Government Act 2022 (PLGA 2022) — which mandates that union councils ensure registration of births, deaths, marriages and divorces for all the communities without discrimination — and Article 36 of the Constitution, which expressly requires the state to protect the minorities’ legitimate rights and interests, the counsel argued that by refusing to issue the requisite certificate, the council was failing to fulfil its legal duty.
Additionally, Advocate Kashif Alexander, the court’s amicus curiae on the matter, contended that obtaining a divorce certificate is a legal right that cannot be denied.
Together the two emphasise that while the Constitution of Pakistan (1973) does not explicitly guarantee the right to identity, Article 9 (right to life) and Article 14 (dignity of man) safeguard that right. Therefore, any citizen whose marital status changes due to the dissolution of marriage by divorce has a fundamental right to obtain a divorce certificate from the competent authority and then have their CNIC updated/revised.
The Additional Advocate General has little to defend the respondents and said that the provincial government was taking steps to address the complaints of the Christian community regarding the non-issuance of divorce certificates.
During the proceedings, it was brought to the court’s attention that NADRA’s Registration Policy dated 06.04.2021 (Version 5.0.2) allowed a change of marital status of a divorcee on the basis of an affidavit in the prescribed form.
In light of this, the court directed that until the provincial government framed the requisite rules needed for the issuance of the divorce certificate by the union council, NADRA shall accommodate the Christian community in accordance with the Registration Policy 19.
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