Monkeypox cases tripled in Europe in last two weeks, says WHO

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The World Health Organization (WHO) released a statement on Friday (1st) stating that cases of monkeypox in Europe have tripled in the last two weeks. The WHO called for “urgent and coordinated” action against the spread of the disease, as the region remains the world’s epicenter.

The statement is signed by the institution’s Regional Director for Europe, Dr. Hans Henri P. Kluge, who noted that the risk of smallpox in the region is high, “given the ongoing threat to public health and the rapid spread.”

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Kluge noted that while the IHR Emergency Committee has advised that the outbreak is not considered a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, this position will be reassessed “soon.”

As per the data presented, Europe accounts for almost 90% of laboratory-confirmed cases reported worldwide since mid-May. In all, in the European region, 31 countries reported cases, with “new cases tripling over the same period to more than 4,500 laboratory-confirmed”.

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Most patients are between 21 and 40 years of age, and 99% were male. Most of this group, as far as information is available, is made up of men who have sex with other men. Still, infections were also confirmed among family members, heterosexual and non-sexual contacts, including among children.

As far as is known, about 10% of patients were admitted for treatment or isolation, and one patient was admitted to the ICU. No deaths were reported.

As for symptoms, the main ones were rash, fever, fatigue, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, sore throat or headache.

Dr Hans Kluge highlighted that countries need to rapidly increase surveillance against the disease, which includes genetic sequencing and laboratory diagnostic capacity and response. In addition, communication with the general public must be done in an “understandable” manner.

Finally, Kluge assessed that the outbreak tests, once again, “the political determination of each Member State and the European Region as a whole”, calling for “firm political commitment complemented by solid investments in public health”.

“Let us not waste this opportunity, but capitalize on the experience of the Covid-19 pandemic to do the right thing – quickly and decisively, for the benefit of our entire Region and beyond.”

Source: CNN Brasil

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