Home / News / World /  Over 18,000 monkeypox cases from 78 countries, alerts WHO

World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday alerted that more than 18,000 cases of monkeypox reported globally from 78 countries, with the majority in Europe. Last week, the WHO declared the monkeypox outbreak a global health emergency. 

Speaking on the spread of the virus, WHO chief said, More than 18,000 cases have now been reported to WHO from 78 countries, with more than 70% of cases reported from Europe. “So far, five deaths have been reported, and about 10% of monkeypox cases are admitted to hospital to manage the pain caused by the disease."

“This is an outbreak that can be stopped, if countries, communities and individuals inform themselves, take the risks seriously, and take the steps needed to stop transmission and protect vulnerable groups," Tedros said and also added, “The best way to do that is to reduce the risk of exposure. That means making 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," WHO chief also said. 

"The focus for all countries must be engaging and empowering communities of men who have sex with men to reduce the risk of monkeypox infection and onward transmission, to provide care for those infected, and to safeguard human rights and dignity," he also added.

“Stigma and discrimination can be as dangerous as any virus, and can fuel the outbreak," WHO chief said adding, “"As we have seen with COVID19, misinformation and disinformation can spread rapidly online, so we call on social media platforms and tech companies and news organizations to work with us to prevent and counter harmful information."

Monkeypox guidelines by the Centre

Meanwhile, with a few cases being reported in India, the Central government issued guidelines for the same including 21-day isolation, wearing masks, following hand hygiene, keeping lesions fully covered etc. 

The Centre's guidelines state that health workers who have unprotected exposure to monkeypox patients or possibly contaminated materials need not be excluded from duty if asymptomatic but should undergo surveillance for symptoms for 21 days.

The infected person should wear a triple-ply mask while the skin lesions should be covered to the best extent possible to minimise the risk of contact with others, according to the guidelines.

It stated that patients should remain in isolation until all lesions have healed and the scabs completely fallen off.

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