News ID: 322652
Published: 0333 GMT July 02, 2022

WHO calls for ‘urgent’ action to stem monkeypox spread in Europe

WHO calls for ‘urgent’ action to stem monkeypox spread in Europe
DENIS BALIBOUSE/REUTERS

A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization during an executive board meeting on update on the coronavirus disease outbreak in Geneva, Switzerland, on April 6, 2021.

The World Health Organization called for “urgent” action to prevent the spread of monkeypox in Europe, noting that cases had tripled in the region over the past two weeks.

“Today, I am intensifying my call for governments and civil society to scale up efforts... to prevent monkeypox from establishing itself across a growing geographical area,” WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Henri Kluge said, AFP reported.

“Urgent and coordinated action is imperative if we are to turn a corner in the race to reverse the ongoing spread of this disease.”

Since early May, a surge in monkeypox cases has been detected outside West and Central African countries where the viral disease is endemic.

Ninety percent of all laboratory-confirmed cases registered worldwide – or 4,500 infections – are in Europe, Kluge said.

Thirty-one countries and areas have now reported infections.

Kluge said Europe remains at the centre of the expanding outbreak and the risk remains high.

The WHO does not think the outbreak currently constitutes a public health emergency of international concern but will review its position shortly, he said.

Monkeypox is related to smallpox, which killed millions around the world every year before it was eradicated in 1980, but has far less severe symptoms.

The disease starts with a fever and quickly develops into a rash, with the formation of scabs. It is usually mild and typically clears up spontaneously after two to three weeks.

Britain has the highest number of reported cases to date – 1,076 according to the UK authorities – ahead of Germany (838), Spain (736), Portugal (365) and France (350), according to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
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