WHO: 1,600 confirmed cases of Monkeypox reported

Health Watch

ABOUT 1,600 confirmed cases and almost 1,500 suspected cases of monkeypox have been reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from 39 countries, director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says.
It included seven countries where monkeypox had been detected for years and 32 newly-affected countries.
“So far this year, 72 deaths have been reported from previously-affected countries,” Ghebreyesus said.
“No deaths have been reported so far from the newly-affected countries, although the WHO is seeking to verify news reports from Brazil of a monkeypox-related death there.”
He said WHO’s goal was to support countries to contain transmission and stop the outbreak with tried-and-tested public health tools including surveillance, contact-tracing and isolation of infected patients.
“It’s also essential to increase awareness of risks and actions to reduce onward transmission for the most at-risk groups, including men who have sex with men and their close contacts,” he said.
“Today (Tuesday), we have also published interim guidance on the use of smallpox vaccines for monkeypox,” he said.
However, Ghebreyesus said the WHO did not recommend mass vaccination against monkeypox.
He said while smallpox vaccines were expected to provide some protection against monkeypox, there was limited clinical data, and limited supply.
“Any decision about whether to use vaccines should be made jointly by individuals who may be at risk and their healthcare provider, based on an assessment of risks and benefits, on a case-by-case basis,” he said.
“It’s also essential that vaccines are available equitably wherever needed.”

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