On Tuesday, a senior World Health Organization (WHO) official stated that the quickly growing Monkeypox outbreak may be halted with the correct methods.
“We still think that this Monkeypox outbreak can be controlled with the proper methods in the right populations,” said Dr Rosamund Lewis, WHO Technical Lead on Monkeypox, at a news conference in Geneva. However, she warned that time is running out and that everyone must work together to tackle the disease.
The spread of the virus was labelled a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Saturday, the organization’s highest degree of notice.
“Through this, we seek to improve coordination, collaboration among countries, and global solidarity,” Lewis added.
Monkeypox poses a high danger to public health in Europe, but a moderate risk globally, according to WHO.
Over 16,000 confirmed cases of monkeypox have been reported in more than 75 countries this year. Lewis believes the true figure is likely greater.
She stated that many thousand instances were suspected in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but testing facilities were limited. “Suspected instances were not included on the global dashboard,” she explained.
Until this year, the virus that causes monkeypox had seldom travelled outside of Africa, where it is prevalent, according to UN News. However, news of a few of cases in the United Kingdom in early May indicated that the outbreak had spread to Europe.
Lewis also stated that stigma and prejudice must be eliminated in order to improve the reaction to the sickness.
“For the time being, the epidemic is still confined among groups of guys who have sex with men in various nations,” she explained. “It is also critical to recognise that stigma and prejudice may be as harmful and dangerous as any infection,” she added.
Monkeypox can produce a variety of symptoms, including painful blisters. Some persons got significant symptoms that necessitated hospitalisation. Pregnant women, children, and immunocompromised people are at a greater risk of serious illness or consequences.
According to Dr. Lewis, WHO was collaborating with member countries and the European Union on vaccine release, as well as with partners to develop a worldwide coordinating structure. She stressed that mass immunisation was not necessary.
She emphasised the importance of increasing production capacity for smallpox and monkeypox diagnostics, vaccines, and therapies in nations with manufacturing capability.