The risk of Monkeypox turning into established in non-endemic nations is actual, the WHO warned Wednesday, with greater than a thousand cases now confirmed in such international locations.
World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned the UN well being company was not recommending mass vaccination in opposition to the virus, and added that no deaths had been reported so removed from the outbreaks.
“The risk of Monkeypox becoming established in non-endemic countries is real,” Tedros informed a press convention.
The zoonotic illness is endemic in people in 9 African international locations however outbreaks have been reported previously month in a number of different states — largely in Europe, and notably in Britain, Spain and Portugal.
“More than 1,000 confirmed cases of Monkeypox have now been reported to WHO from 29 countries that are not endemic for the disease,” Tedros mentioned.
“So far, no deaths have been reported in these countries. Cases have been reported mainly, but not only, among men who have sex with men.
“Some international locations are actually starting to report cases of obvious group transmission, together with some cases in ladies.”
The initial symptoms include a high fever, swollen lymph nodes and a blistery chickenpox-like rash. Tedros said he was particularly concerned about the risk the virus poses to vulnerable groups, including pregnant women and children.
He said the sudden and unexpected appearance of Monkeypox outside endemic countries suggested that there might have been undetected transmission for some time, but it was not known for how long.
One case of Monkeypox in a non-endemic country is considered an outbreak.
Tedros said that while this was “clearly regarding”, the virus had been circulating and killing in Africa for decades, with more than 1,400 suspected cases and 66 deaths so far this year.
“The communities that stay with the risk of this virus every single day deserve the identical concern, the identical care and the identical entry to instruments to guard themselves,” he mentioned.
In the few locations the place vaccines can be found, they’re getting used to guard those that could also be uncovered, such as healthcare staff.
He added that post-exposure vaccination, ideally inside 4 days, could possibly be thought of for higher-risk shut contacts, such as sexual companions or family members. Tedros mentioned the WHO would challenge steerage within the coming days on scientific care, an infection prevention and management, vaccination and group safety.
He mentioned folks with signs ought to isolate at house and seek the advice of a well being employee, whereas folks in the identical family ought to keep away from shut contact.
Few hospitalisations have been reported, aside from sufferers being remoted, the WHO mentioned on the weekend.
Sylvie Briand, the WHO’s epidemic and pandemic preparedness and prevention director, mentioned the smallpox vaccine could possibly be used in opposition to Monkeypox, a fellow orthopoxvirus, with a excessive diploma of efficacy.
The WHO is making an attempt to find out what number of doses are presently accessible and to seek out out from producers what their manufacturing and distribution capacities are.