More than 1,000 monkeypox cases reported to WHO
Jennifer Rigby and Mrinalika Roy
LONDON, (Reuters) – More than 1000 monkeypox patients have been reported to the World Health Organization. This is in addition to cases in countries outside of Africa.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is the WHO Director-General. He stated that while monkeypox could be established in countries not endemic, it was preventable.
Currently, 29 countries have reported cases. The current epidemic began in May. There have been no deaths.
Tedros stated that there were more than 1,400 cases of monkeypox in Africa this year and that there have been 66 deaths.
He said, “It is an unfortunate reflection on the world that we live in that only the international community now pays attention to monkeypox since it has been seen in high-income nations.”
According to him, the virus was spreading in certain countries through community transmission. WHO suggests that monkeypox patients should be treated at home.
Rosamund Lewis (who is WHO’s technical leader on monkeypox) stated that it was through personal close contact that monkeypox spreads. However, she cautioned that aerosol transmission risks are still unknown. According to Lewis, health personnel who treat monkeypox victims should wear masks. [L4N2XU363]
The WHO stated that cases are still mainly among men who have had sex with other men. However, there have been some reports of cases in women.
In order to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS is collaborating with community groups and other organizations.
WHO suggested that some countries may consider post-exposure vaccination for those who have been exposed, such as health professionals and close friends, or for sexual partners, ideally within 4 days. Studies have demonstrated that vaccines are effective against both smallpox and monkeypox.
Sylvie Briand, a senior WHO official said that the WHO is currently evaluating the effectiveness of smallpox vaccines and has contacted manufacturers and countries which have pledged to provide vaccines.