WHO says monkeypox can be contained in non-endemic countries
It is a situation that can be controlled”, said Maria Van Kerkhove, director of the fight against covid-19 at the WHO.
The transmission of monkey pox person-to-person “can be detained in non-endemic countries,” the World Health Organization said on Monday (23) (WHO).
“We want to stop person-to-person transmission. We can do this in non-endemic countries… It is a situation that can be controlled”, declared Maria Van Kerkhove, director of the fight against covid-19 at the WHO, as well as the fight against emerging diseases and zoonoses.
According to her, less than 200 confirmed and suspected cases have been reported so far.
“We are in a situation where we can turn to public health tools of early detection and supervised case isolation,” he explained. “We can stop human-to-human transmission,” she insisted.
The specialist indicated that transmission occurs by “close physical contact: skin-to-skin contact” and that, in most of the identified cases, people did not develop any serious form of the disease.
Rosamund Lewis, who heads the WHO secretariat for monkeypox in the UN agency’s emergencies programme, said the disease had been known for at least 40 years and that few cases had been detected in Europe in the last five years, in people who had traveled to regions where the pathology is endemic.
However, “this is the first time that we have seen cases in many countries and, at the same time, in people who have not traveled to endemic regions of Africa,” he explained, citing Nigeria, Cameroon, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Lewis said it is not known whether the virus has mutated, but that the group of orthopoxviruses — to which monkeypox belongs — “does not tend to mutate, but to remain stable.”
On the other hand, Andy Seale, strategic advisor on WHO programs for HIV, hepatitis and sexually transmitted diseases, argued that while the virus can be transmitted through sexual contact, it is not a sexually transmitted disease. “Anyone can get smallpox from close contact,” he said.
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox, or orthopoxvirosis simia, as the virus is called, is a rare disease whose pathogen is transmitted mainly from animals to humans, sporadically and only in regions of the African continent. Although before the outbreak it was considered even more difficult to occur, the WHO explains that human-to-human transmission has also always been possible and occurs through contact with injuries, body fluids, sharing contaminated materials and airways.
What are the symptoms of monkeypox?
Its symptoms are similar, to a lesser extent, to those seen in the past in smallpox patients. Fever, headache, muscle aches, and skin rashes (lesions) that start on the face and spread to the rest of the body, especially the hands and feet. The illness is usually mild, and the symptoms resolve on their own within two to three weeks, although severe cases have been reported.
With information from AFP.