The WHO has warned of the spread of monkeypox in non-native countries

By the UN

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Gebreisus, told a news conference in Geneva on Wednesday about the recent outbreak of monkeypox and covid-19 that the number of smallpox infections in monkeys in non-native countries had exceeded 1,000 and the risk of transmitting the virus was “real”. Is. In addition, he noted that there are confirmed cases in 29 countries where the monkeypox virus is not transmitted.

Rosamund Lewis, a WHO expert and technical leader in the outbreak of monkeypox, said that the cases reported so far, especially in a non-local setting, are still “the majority of men having sex with men.”

“Now there are reports of some cases among women. At the moment, it is still possible to prevent the spread of smallpox among the most vulnerable people. “

Going unnoticed – The WHO chief reiterated that the “sudden and unexpected” nature of monkeypox in these countries suggests that it may not have been noticed for some time. However, he added that the virus could be prevented from establishing itself in non-native countries if infected people isolate themselves at home and avoid close contact with others.

To support countries, the WHO has issued guidelines on surveillance and contact tracing, as well as laboratory testing and diagnosis. In the coming days, the agency will issue additional guidance on clinical care, infection prevention and control, vaccination and community protection.

Last week, the WHO convened a meeting of more than 500 researchers to review what is known about monkeypox and to identify research priorities.

“We are also working with HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS), civil society organizations and the male sex community and providing them with information on what monkeypox is and how to avoid it,” said Tedros. .

Cases in Africa – So far this year, there have been more than 1,400 suspected cases and 56 deaths in Africa, where monkeypox is endemic in some countries.

Director General of WHO “The virus has been spreading and killing in Africa for decades,” he said. It is unfortunate that the international community is now only paying attention to MonkeyPox because it has appeared in high-income countries. Everyday communities that live with the threat of this virus deserve equal access to equal care, equal care and the means to protect themselves. “

Covid-19: Not yet tested and vaccinated – The number of reported cases and deaths due to Covid-19 is declining, but there has not yet been enough testing and mass vaccination to say the epidemic will end soon, the WHO chief said.

Tedros pointed out that the declining cases could be very motivating, as the increase in vaccination rates is saving many lives, but the UN agency is appealing for caution.

“There is not enough testing and vaccination in the world. On average, about three-quarters of health care workers and people over the age of 60 are vaccinated, but rates are much lower in low-income countries. ”

The WHO chief explained that 68 countries have not yet reached 40% coverage, although the supply of vaccines is already adequate, and paradoxically, many countries with the lowest vaccination rates lack demand.

Tedros said, “WHO and our partners are working with countries to increase the use of vaccines to reach people through mobile units, door-to-door campaigns and community leaders.”

Misunderstanding – The WHO Director-General warns that “the perception that the epidemic (pandemic) is over, is understandable, but misleading”, given that 7,000 people have died from Kovid-19 in the past week.

“A new, more dangerous type could emerge at any time and a large number of people remain vulnerable. The epidemic is not over and we will continue to say that it is not over until it is over, “he warned.

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