WHO calls an emergency meeting when there are more than 100 cases of monkeypox in Europe

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London — The World Health Organization will hold an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the recent outbreak of monkeypox, a more common viral infection in West Africa and Central Africa, after more than 100 cases have been confirmed or suspected in Europe. bottom.

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What Germany has described as the largest outbreak in Europe is currently confirmed in at least five countries (UK, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Italy) and in the United States, Canada and Australia.

This series of cases raised concerns, as the disease, first identified in monkeys, usually spreads through close contact and rarely spreads outside Africa.

However, given that the virus does not spread as easily as SARS-COV-2, scientists do not expect the epidemic to develop into a pandemic like COVID-19.

Monkeypox is a mild viral illness usually characterized by fever symptoms and a distinctive bumpy rash.

“There are several confirmed cases in the United Kingdom, Spain and Portugal, which is the largest and most widespread outbreak of monkeypox ever seen in Europe,” said Germany, which detected the first case in the country on Friday. Army medical services said.

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Fabian Leendertz of the Robert Koch Institute described this outbreak as an epidemic.

“But it’s very unlikely that this epidemic will last long. Cases can be well separated by contact tracing, and there are medicines and effective vaccines that can be used as needed,” he said. rice field.

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There is no specific vaccine for monkeypox, but data show that the vaccine used to eradicate smallpox is up to 85% effective against monkeypox, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). ..

British officials said Thursday that they provided the smallpox vaccine to some health care workers and others who may have been exposed to monkeypox.

The WHO Committee, to which the meeting is scheduled, is the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group (STAG-IH) on Infectious Hazard with Pandemic and Epidemic Potential, and Infectious Risks That Can Threaten Global Health. Advise WHO about.

Abnormal case

Since 1970, cases of monkeypox have been reported in 11 African countries. According to WHO, Nigeria has had a major outbreak since 2017. To date, there have been 46 suspicious cases, 15 of which have been confirmed.

The first European case was confirmed on May 7 in an individual returning from Nigeria to the United Kingdom.

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Since then, more than 100 cases have been identified outside Africa, according to followers by scholars at Oxford University.

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Many of the cases are not related to travel to the continent. As a result, the cause of this outbreak is unknown, but health officials say there may be some community expansion.

In the UK, where 20 cases are currently confirmed, according to the UK National Security Agency, recent cases in the UK are primarily among men who have self-identified as gay, bisexual, or men having sex with men. It is said that it occurred in.

All 14 Portuguese cases detected at sexual health clinics are also found in men who are self-identifying as gay, bisexual, or men having sex with men.

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Spanish health officials said 23 new cases were identified on Friday. Most infections were associated with outbreaks in adult saunas, primarily in the Madrid area.

Alessio D’Amato, a health commissioner in Lazio, Italy, said it was too early to determine if the disease had turned into a sexually transmitted disease. Three cases have been reported so far in Japan.

Stuartneil, a professor of virology at King’s College London, added that sexual contact is, by definition, intimate contact.

“The idea that this has some sort of sexual communication, I think, is a bit of a stretch,” he said.

According to WHO, scientists are sequencing viruses in various cases to see if they are related. The agency will provide updates shortly.

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WHO calls an emergency meeting when there are more than 100 cases of monkeypox in Europe

Source link WHO calls an emergency meeting when there are more than 100 cases of monkeypox in Europe

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