Monkeypox: Europe and the United States worst affected; It accounts for 95% of diagnosed cases, says WHO – Hindustan Times

Europe and the Americas have been affected the most Monkeypox outbreakWHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters here on Wednesday.

Read also | India isolates monkeypox virus as first step towards vaccines

Those two regions reported 95 percent of diagnosed cases, he said, warning of stigma and discrimination in monkeypox messages.

More than 18,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported to the World Health Organization from 78 countries. He said more than 70 percent of those came from the European region and 25 percent from the Americas.

He said 98 percent of reported cases were among men who had sex with men, stressing that stigma and discrimination can be “as dangerous as any virus and can fuel outbreaks.”

“As we’ve seen with misinformation about COVID-19,” he said, “it can spread rapidly across the internet,” so we’re calling on social media platforms, technology companies, and news organizations to work with us to prevent and combat harmful information.

Last Saturday, the World Health Organization officially declared monkeypox a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). PHEIC is the highest level of alert a UN health body can provide.

The World Health Organization is urging countries to take the monkeypox outbreak seriously by taking steps to stop transmission and protect vulnerable groups. “The best way to do that is to reduce exposure risk and make safe choices,” he said.

“For MSM, this includes, for the time being, reducing the number of your sexual partners, reconsidering having sex with new partners, and sharing contact details with any new partners to enable follow-up if necessary.”

Meanwhile, Canada, the European Union and the United States have already approved a vaccine called MVA-BN (Modified Ankara-North Bavarian Vaccine) for use against monkeypox, and two other vaccines are also being evaluated. However, due to the lack of data on the efficacy and dosage of vaccines, the World Health Organization does not currently recommend universal vaccination against monkeypox. It also urges all countries administering such vaccines to collect and share important data on their efficacy.

Ani / Xinhua

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