The WHO warns of the spread of monkeypox in non-endemic countries

The WHO warns of the spread of monkeypox in non-endemic countries

By the UN

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said at a press conference in Geneva on Wednesday about the current epidemic of monkeypox and COVID-19, that smallpox infections in monkeys in non-endemic countries have exceeded 1,000 and the risk of establishing a virus is “real”. In addition, he noted that 29 countries where the monkeypox virus does not circulate have confirmed cases.

WHO expert and technical leader on monkeypox outbreaks, Rosamund Lewis, said cases reported so far, especially in non-endemic environments, are still “most men who have sex with men”.

“There are now reports of some cases among women. At the moment, it is still possible to prevent the spread of smallpox in people who are most at risk. ”

go unnoticed – The head of the WHO reiterated that the “sudden and unexpected” appearance of monkeypox in these countries suggests that some time may have gone unnoticed. However, he added that the virus could be prevented from establishing itself in non-endemic countries if the infected are isolated at home and avoid close contact with others.

To support countries, the WHO has issued guidelines for monitoring and monitoring contacts, as well as laboratory testing and diagnostics. In the coming days, the agency will issue guidelines on clinical care, infection prevention and control, vaccination and additional guidelines on community protection.

Last week, the World Health Organization organized a meeting of more than 500 researchers to review what is known about monkeypox, as well as identify research priorities.

“We are also working with the United Nations Joint Program on HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS), civil society organizations and men’s communities that have sex with men to hear their questions and provide information on what apes are and how to avoid them,” Tedros said. .

cases in africa – So far this year, Africa, where monkeypox is endemic in some countries, has had more than 1,400 suspected cases and 56 deaths.

WHO Director-General he said that “this virus has been circulating and killing Africa for decades. It is unfortunate that the international community is only now paying attention to monkeypox because it has appeared in high-income countries. Communities that live with the threat of this virus on a daily basis deserve the same care, the same care and the same access to protection tools. ”

COVID-19: There are still not enough tests and vaccinations – The number of reported cases and deaths from COVID-19 continues to decline, but there is still not enough testing and mass vaccination to say that the pandemic will end soon, said the head of the WHO.

Tedros pointed out that the decline in the number of cases can be very motivating, because increasing the vaccination rate saves many lives, but the UN agency still calls for caution.

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

The head of the WHO explained that 68 countries have not yet reached the coverage of 40 percent, although the supply of vaccines is already sufficient, and paradoxically, there is a lack of demand in many countries with the lowest vaccination rates.

“The WHO and our partners are working with countries to increase vaccine adoption by bringing people through mobile units, door-to-door campaigns and mobilizing community leaders,” Tedros said.

Misperception – The Director General of the WHO warned that “the perception that the pandemic is over is understandable, but wrong”, noting that 7,000 people died from COVID-19 last week.

“A new, even more dangerous variant can appear at any moment, and a large number of people remain unprotected. “The pandemic is not over and we will continue to say that it is not over until it is over,” he warned.

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