The European regional office of the World Health Organization said on Wednesday that the continent was currently at the “epicenter” of a major outbreak of monkeypox. The past few months have seen a sharp rise in cases across Europe and although there have not been many deaths, the infection rate has caused a lot of concern among authorities. According to official WHO data, around 85% of the total number of cases worldwide – around 1,500 – are currently present in 25 countries in Europe. Originating in Africa, the monkeypox virus has spread at an alarming rate and the WHO will decide whether or not to classify it as an international health emergency.
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“The scale of this outbreak poses a real risk; the longer the virus circulates, the more it will extend its reach and the stronger the establishment of the disease will be in non-endemic countries,” said Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge according to an AFP report.
The latest WHO guidelines on Monkeypox ask patients to self-isolate if they think they might be infected with the virus. Kluge repeated the same again and urged patients to follow the rules.
In a number of countries, first aiders are vaccinated with smallpox vaccines and Kluge said there are “limited quantities of monkeypox vaccines and antivirals and limited data on their use,” according to the AFP.
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“Mass vaccination is neither recommended nor necessary at this time,”
“I implore governments to tackle monkeypox without repeating the mistakes of the pandemic – and keeping equity at the heart of everything we do,” he added.
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Post expires at 6:49pm on Saturday June 25th, 2022