Home / News / World /  Can monkeypox outbreak be stopped? What WHO says

Amid a surge in cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Thursday said that the monkeypox outbreak can be stopped if the infected countries, communities and individuals aware themselves about the disease and take the necessary steps to stop its transmission from spreading among the people.

Taking to Twitter, the WHO official said, “More than 18,000 monkeypox cases have now been reported to WHO from 78 countries, with more than 70% cases reported from the European region and 25% from the regions of Americas. So far, five deaths have been reported and about 10% of infected patients are admitted to hospitals."

“This is an outbreak that can be stopped if the countries, communities and individuals inform themselves, take the risks seriously and the steps needed to stop transmission and protect vulnerable groups," Tedros stated.

He said that the best way to stop the monkeypox outbreak is to reduce the risk of its exposure, that means making the safe choices for yourself and others. 

“For men who have sex with men, this includes, for the moment, reducing your number of sexual partners, reconsidering sex with new partners, and exchanging contact details with any new partners to enable follow up if needed. Although 98% of cases so far are among men who have sex with men, anyone exposed can get monkeypox, which is why WHO recommends that countries take action to reduce the risk of transmission to other vulnerable groups, including children, pregnant women and those who are immunosuppressed," he added.

The WHO official further asserted that in addition to transmission through sexual contact, monkeypox can be spread in households, through close contact between people such as hugging ang kissing and on contaminated towels or beddings.

WHO recommends target vaccination for those exposed to someone with monkeypox and for those at high risk of exposure, including health workers, some lab workers and those with multiple sexual partners, he said, adding that it does not suggest mass vaccination against this disease.

“The focus for all countries must be engaging and empowering communities of men who have sex sex with men to reduce the risk of infection and onward transmission, to provide care for those infected, and to safeguard human rights and dignity. Stigma and discrimination can be as dangerous as any virus, and can fuel the outbreak," the WHO director-general said.

Earlier on Saturday, Tedros declared that monkeypox outbreak constitutes a global health emergency. First identified in monkeys, the virus is transmitted chiefly through close contact with an infected person. Until 2022, the viral disease has rarely spread outside Africa where it is endemic.




















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