Un científico observa el virus de la viruela del mono en un laboratorio. Foto: LUKAS BARTH/ REUTERS, vía RTVE.

Monkeypox: WHO calls for regional collaboration

The European Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) made this Wednesday a call for regional collaboration and solidarity in the face of the outbreak of monkey pox whose current epicenter is located on this continent.

“I beg governments to tackle monkeypox without repeating the mistakes of the (coronavirus) pandemic and to keep equity at the center of everything they do,” the WHO-Europe director told a news conference. Hans Kluge.

Kluge recalled that this disease was “forgotten” despite the fact that it has been endemic in West Africa for decades and defended that a selfish strategy could have “harmful consequences.”

“Now that it is in Europe and elsewhere we have seen again how a challenge in one part of the world can easily and quickly become a joint challenge and how we must all work together to ensure a coordinated response that is fair to all, especially most vulnerable,” he said.

He also highlighted that there is a limited number of vaccines and antivirals, as well as limited information on their use, although the WHO does not recommend mass vaccination, only for certain groups such as close contacts of patients.

Europe continues to be the epicenter of the outbreak detected a month ago in the United Kingdom, with more than 1,500 cases registered in 25 countries (85% of the global total), and monkeypox constitutes a “real” risk, although most of the detected cases are mild and there have been only a few hospitalizations.

“The more the virus circulates, the greater its reach and the stronger the disease will take hold in non-endemic countries,” Kluge said.

Cuba continues without reporting cases of monkeypox and acute childhood hepatitis

The WHO experts stressed that it is necessary to learn more about the disease and that the available data is still scarce to make accurate models, although no mutations have been detected and the risk of contagion for the general population is low.

The WHO had announced yesterday that it will convene its emergency commission on June 23 to determine whether the transmission of monkeypox in non-endemic countries constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.

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