WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the risk of monkeypox becoming widespread in countries without the disease is real but preventable at this time.
29 countries have reported cases in the current outbreak, which began in May. No deaths have been reported.
At a press conference with the media in Geneva, Tedros also said there have been more than 1,400 suspected cases of monkeypox this year in Africa and 66 deaths.
“It’s an unfortunate reflection of the world we live in where the international community’s attention only to monkeypox because it has emerged in high-income countries,” he said.
He said the outbreak showed signs of community transmission in several countries. WHO recommends that people with monkeypox be isolated at home.
Rosamund Lewis, WHO technical lead on monkeypox, says that “close personal contact” is the main way smallpox is spread in monkeys, although she added that the risk of transmission is through The aerosol route is still not fully known. Healthcare workers caring for monkeypox patients should wear masks, she said.
The WHO added that cases remained predominantly in men who have sex with men, although cases in women have been reported.
Mortality from monkeypox unclear due to lack of surveillance in some countries: WHO
The United Nations agency is working with organizations including UN AIDS and community groups to raise awareness and prevent transmission.
WHO adds that post-exposure vaccination, including for healthcare workers or close contacts, including sexual partners – ideally within 4 days of exposure – can be considered for some countries. Studies have shown that vaccines in use are designed to protect against smallpox, a more dangerous virus that was eliminated by the world in 1980, but also protect against smallpox. Smallpox in monkeys.
WHO senior official Sylvie Briand said the agency was assessing the effectiveness of the smallpox vaccine stockpile and was in contact with manufacturers and countries that had previously committed to the vaccine.