On Sunday, Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, the public health services head at the Israeli Health Ministry, addressed the outbreak of monkeypox that has occurred recently in the country. She urged the people to stay calm and said that this outbreak was not posing any major risk to the health of the public. There has already been one confirmed case of the rare disease, while another was proven otherwise. Since then, reports have emerged of two more suspected cases and she commented that those had also been cleared and were not found to be monkeypox. This means that Israel only has one confirmed case of the disease currently.
It is a sailor who returned from a trip to Western Europe and is in his 30s. He was hospitalized on Friday in Tel Aviv at the Ichilov Medical Center and the Health Ministry said that he was in good condition. The symptoms of monkeypox include muscle aches, fever, exhaustion, chills, swollen lymph nodes and a chickenpox-like rash can also be found on the face and hands. Alroy-Preis stated in a briefing that the variant of the virus that had come to Israel was from West Africa, which is moderate in nature and its infection rate is low.
She went on to say that it was ‘unnecessary’ to stress over the disease, but also noted that the arrival of the virus did require some investigation. She urged that it should not become a cause for hysteria. Alroy-Preis further asserted that anyone who comes into contact with a potential case would have to be quarantined. She said that depending on the nature of the contact of people with the infected individual, they would be provided with instructions. She also reassured that only exceptional cases of monkeypox require hospitalization. A microbiologist, Dr. Oren Kobiler, who works at the Tel Aviv University,said on Monday that they were not concerned about it becoming the next pandemic.
This was due to the fact that it does not spread well from person to person contact. Kobiler also said that it was back in 2018 that the case of this disease had been first discovered in Israel and no infections had occurred because of it. Kobiler further added that as opposed to the Western world, the population of Israel has better protection. He said that those who were born until 1978 had gotten vaccinated and those serving in the army had received vaccinations until 1996.
He stated that while these people could get infected, but they were not likely to experience any major symptoms. He asserted that there was not any need for a vaccination drive at this stage because the range of side effects of the vaccine outweighed the seriousness of the disease. He echoed the same sentiments as Alroy-Preis and said that there was no need for the public to change their behavior and they just needed to keep an eye out on the disease. According to the WHO, it takes two to four weeks for the virus to clear up.