Monkeypox can be contained if we act now: WHO

So far, there are more than 200 countries confirmed or suspected in about 20 cases where the virus was not previously circulating.

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GENEVA — A senior World Health Organization official said on Friday the priority must be to contain monkeypox in non-endemic countries, saying it could be achieved with quick action.

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Monkeypox, usually a mild viral infection, is endemic in African countries, but its spread to non-endemic countries like Europe and the United States has raised concerns. So far, there are more than 200 countries confirmed or suspected in about 20 cases where the virus was not previously circulating.

“We believe that if we put the right measures in place now, we can easily contain it,” Sylvie Briand, WHO director for global infectious hazard preparedness, said during a technical briefing to member states during the meeting. annual meeting of the United Nations health agency.

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She stressed there was a window of opportunity to prevent further spread, urging the general public not to worry as transmission is much slower than other viruses such as coronavirus.

WHO officials said there was no need for mass vaccination at this time, but targeted vaccination was available for close contacts of infected people.

“Case investigation, contact tracing, home isolation will be your best bets,” said Rosamund Lewis, head of the WHO smallpox secretariat which is part of the WHO emergency program. WHO.

Joan J. Holland