WHO to convene emergency committee over monkeypox

According to WHO, more than 1.6 thousand confirmed cases of the disease have been registered in 39 countries. The organization considers it necessary to think about protective measures and not wait “until the situation gets out of control”

The World Health Organization (WHO) will convene an emergency committee meeting next week to assess the extent of the outbreak. monkeypox is dangerous to global health. This was stated by the head of the organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, reports Reuters.

According to him, now the organization is aware of 1.6 thousand confirmed cases of the disease. In addition, 1,500 suspected infections and 72 deaths have been reported since the beginning of the year in 39 countries.

Ghebreyesus believes that more protective measures should be considered as “the virus is behaving unusually” and there is a need for international coordination. “We don't want to wait until things get out of hand,” — added Ibrahima Sos-Fall, director of the WHO for emergencies in Africa.

However, Ghebreyesus noted, WHO believes that mass vaccination against monkeypox is not required.

According to the organization, monkeypox— a rare viral disease that is mainly found in countries of Central and West Africa, where tropical rainforests grow and animals that usually carry the virus live. Sometimes the virus is detected in other countries in people who have arrived from monkeypox-endemic regions. For the first time, cases of infection among people were identified in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (then — Zaire). The first cases outside Africa were reported in 2003 in the United States. The last major outbreak occurred in Nigeria in 2017, but in 2018–2019, cases of smallpox were found in the UK, Israel and Singapore.

This year, the UK was the first to report a case of monkeypox outside of Africa at the beginning May. The virus was found in a Nigerian plane passenger. Later, other countries began to report cases of infection with this virus, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United States and others.

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Rospotrebnadzor has not yet reported cases of infection found in Russia and assessed the likelihood of importing monkeypox as low due to air traffic restrictions. The department called the Vector, created by the center an autonomous test system that allows you to identify the causative agent of the disease, effective and “does not detect cross-reactions with measles, rubella and chicken pox viruses.”

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