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    No concern yet monkeypox will cause pandemic: WHO


    The WHO mentioned on Monday it was not involved for now that the unfold of monkeypox past the African nations the place it’s usually discovered may spark a worldwide pandemic.

    Since Britain first reported a confirmed monkeypox case on Could 7, almost 400 suspected and confirmed instances have been reported to the World Well being Group in almost two dozen nations removed from the states the place the virus is endemic.

    The UN well being company has voiced concern at this “uncommon state of affairs”, however reiterated Monday that there was no purpose to panic over the virus, which spreads by way of shut contact and often doesn’t trigger extreme illness.

    Requested throughout an epidemiological briefing whether or not the virus, which is endemic in a variety of west and central African nations, would possibly provoke one other pandemic, WHO’s high monkeypox professional Rosamund Lewis acknowledged that “we don’t know.”

    However “we don’t assume so,” she mentioned. “In the meanwhile, we’re not involved of a worldwide pandemic.”

    It was vital, she mentioned, to take speedy steps to rein within the unfold of the virus.

    “It’s nonetheless doable to cease this outbreak earlier than it will get bigger,” she advised a web based public discussion board.

    “I don’t assume we must be scared collectively.”

    Monkeypox is said to smallpox, which killed hundreds of thousands world wide yearly earlier than it was eradicated in 1980.

    However monkeypox is far much less extreme, and most of the people get well inside three to 4 weeks.

    The preliminary signs embody a excessive fever, swollen lymph nodes and a blistery chickenpox-like rash.

    – ‘Not a homosexual illness’ –

    Specialists try to find out why the virus has all of a sudden begun spreading in nations the place it has by no means been seen earlier than, and primarily amongst younger males.

    One principle is that monkeypox is spreading extra simply amongst individuals beneath the age of 45, who wouldn’t have been vaccinated towards smallpox.

    Vaccines developed for smallpox have additionally been discovered to be about 85 % efficient in stopping monkeypox, however they’re briefly provide.

    Specialists fear monkeypox may reap the benefits of the gaps in world immunity to fill the smallpox void.

    “We’re involved that it’ll change smallpox and we actually don’t need that to occur,” mentioned Lewis, who additionally heads WHO’s smallpox secretariat.

    She pressured the significance of elevating consciousness amongst those that could be in danger, detecting instances early, isolating these contaminated and monitoring their contacts.

    “If all of us react shortly, and all of us work collectively, we can cease this … earlier than it reaches extra susceptible individuals,” she mentioned.

    Up to now, most of the instances have been linked to younger males who’ve intercourse with males.

    Specialists stress there isn’t any proof that monkeypox is transmitted sexually, however recommend there might have been a number of so-called amplifying occasions the place members of the LGBTQ neighborhood have been gathered in shut proximity.

    “This isn’t a homosexual illness,” Andy Seale of WHO’s sexually transmitted infections programme advised the general public discussion board, stressing that the virus may unfold amongst any group of individuals in crowded areas with shut skin-to-skin contact.

    Sylvie Briand, WHO’s epidemic and pandemic preparedness and prevention chief, acknowledged that “respiratory transmission” was additionally occurring.

    However she mentioned it nonetheless remained unclear if that transmission was “largely by way of droplets or may very well be airborne.”

    “There are nonetheless many unknowns,” she mentioned advised Monday’s epidemiological briefing.

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