Riyadh — Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Environment, Agriculture, and Water issued an order to impose a ban on the import of all the types of rodents; the ban was also for non-human primates such as monkeys from the countries on the African continent.
The move is an essential part of the preventive measures to halt the spread of the monkeypox virus. This decision follows a directive from the World Health Organization (WHO).
The WHO fact sheet on the virus states the several forms through which the disease can be transmitted. Monkeypox is transmitted to humans through being in close contact with an infected human or animal or with material contaminated with the virus.
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The virus is transmitted by being under close contact with lesions, respiratory droplets, bodily fluids, and contaminated materials. Monkeypox is a zoonotic viral disease that takes place in central and west African tropical rainforest areas.
The condition is occasionally exported to other regions.
The fact sheet underlined the necessity to put restrictions on the animal trade to prevent the spread of the virus. The WHO noted that some countries (African) have set in place regulations restricting the import of non-human primates (monkeys) and rodents.
“Captive animals that are possibly infected with monkeypox should be isolated from other animals and placed into quarantine.
Any animals that may have come into contact with an infected animal should be quarantined. This animal is then to be handled with standard precautions and observed for monkeypox symptoms for 30 days,” it pointed out.
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The ministry sent a letter to the Federation of Chambers of Commerce. The letter is regarding the information leaflet from the World Organization for Animal Health on the monkeypox virus. The letter states that the virus is endemic in western and central African countries.
In the scientific zoological classification, primates include all species belonging to apes and lemurs in addition to humans. Primates live all over the world.
Apart from humans, the remaining primates are concentrated in Africa, Central and South America, and southern Asia. There are also a few species in North America and Japan.