Monkeypox: WHO Warns Of ‘Real’ Risk As Global Cases Cross 1000
Geneva: The monkeypox virus has spread to around 30 countries with the number of confirmed cases crossing 1000.
The World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the risk of monkeypox becoming established is real, AFP reported.
“The risk of monkeypox becoming established in non-endemic countries is real,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press conference on Wednesday.
The outbreak of the infectious viral disease, which is endemic in humans in some African countries, has been reported over the past couple of months in several European nations and some North American countries.
Britain has notified monkeypox as a notifiable disease.
WHO, however, is not recommending mass vaccination against the virus, stating that no death has been reported so far.
“Cases have been reported mainly, but not only, among men who have sex with men… Some countries are now beginning to report cases of apparent community transmission, including some cases in women,” Tedros said.
The sudden and unexpected appearance of monkeypox outside endemic countries suggested there may have been undetected transmission for some time, though it was not known for how long, Tedros said.
This is “clearly concerning”, but the virus had been circulating in Africa for decades, with more than 1,400 suspected cases and 66 deaths so far this year, WHO chief pointed out.
“The communities that live with the threat of this virus every day deserve the same concern, the same care and the same access to tools to protect themselves,” he said.
The initial symptoms include a high fever, swollen lymph nodes and a blistery chickenpox-like rash.
WHO is particularly concerned about the risk monkeypox poses to pregnant women and children.
Common monkeypox symptoms include high fever, swollen lymph nodes and chickenpox-like rashes.