WHO calls for “urgent” action in Europe against monkeypox

COPENHAGEN: The World Health Organization (WHO) called on Friday for “urgent” action to prevent the spread of monkeypox in Europe, noting that cases there have tripled in the past two weeks.
“Today I am reinforcing my call on governments and civil society to increase efforts… to prevent the spread of monkeypox across a growing geographic area,” Hans Henry, WHO Regional Director for Europe Klug said.
“Urgent and coordinated action is imperative if we are to turn the corner in the race to overcome the continued spread of this disease.”
Since the beginning of May, a jump in cases of monkeypox has been noticed outside west and Central African countries where the viral disease is endemic.
Ninety percent of all laboratory-confirmed cases reported worldwide – or 4,500 infections – are in Europe, Kluge said.
Thirty-one countries and territories have already reported infections.
Kluge said Europe remains at the center of the expanding epidemic and the risk remains high.
The WHO does not currently consider the outbreak to be a public health emergency of international concern, but will review its position soon, he said.
Most monkeypox infections so far have been seen in men who have sex with men at a young age, mainly in urban areas, according to the WHO.
He investigated cases of possible sexual transmission, but argued that the disease was spread primarily through close contact.

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