The World Health Organization reported today that there was a 21% drop in new cases of monkeypox worldwide last week, mainly as the outbreak slowed in Europe.
However, these data do not reassure the Organization because at the same time an acceleration of the epidemic is observed in the American continent.
“At the beginning of the epidemic, most of the cases were in Europe and only a very small part in the Americas. This situation has been reversed: 40% of the cases are recorded in Europe and 60% in the Americas,” commented WHO Director-General Tedros Andanom Gebregesus. “Especially in Latin America, inadequate sanitary measures, combined with a lack of access to vaccines, are fueling the epidemic,” he pointed out.
As of August 24, 44,464 cases had been reported worldwide and 13 of those patients had died, according to the latest WHO tally.
In the week of August 15-21, the number of new cases decreased by 21% compared to the previous week. Two countries announced that they had detected their first case: Iran and Indonesia.
“There are indications that the epidemic is slowing down in Europe, where adequate health measures, behavior change and vaccination are helping to prevent transmission,” Dr Tedros explained.
Bavarian Nordic, the Danish company that makes the only approved monkeypox vaccine, announced on Wednesday that it had reached an agreement with the WHO to facilitate its distribution in Latin American and Caribbean countries. “We thank Bavarian Nordic for this agreement and hope that it will help to contain the outbreak in the region,” said Dr. Tree.
Bavarian Nordic’s formulation (marketed as Jynneos in North America and Imvanex in Europe) is a vaccine for smallpox, a deadly disease that was eradicated in the 1980s and is now used to treat monkeypox.