Smallpox: Europe is the epicenter of the outbreak, according to the WHO

With the proliferation of new cases, Europe has become the center of the spread of monkeypox, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Intensified surveillance. Europe is at the center of the spread of monkeypox, the World Health Organization (WHO) European Bureau said on Wednesday, as it worries about the risk of spreading the disease.

“Europe remains the epicenter of this booming wave, with 25 countries reporting more than 1,500 cases, or 85% of the world’s total,” Hans Kluge, director of WHO Europe, told a news conference , which brings together 53 countries, some of them from Central Asia.

For the UN institution, the priority is to contain the transmission.

“The magnitude of this epidemic poses a real risk: the longer the virus travels, the longer it spreads and the more widespread the disease will be in non-endemic countries,” warned Hans Kluge.

Typically circulating in Central and West Africa, the virus is outside Europe, now present in Australia, the Middle East, North America and South America, totaling more than 1,600 cases.

Known to humans since 1970, monkeypox or “orthopoxvirose simienne” is a disease considered rare due to a virus transmitted to humans through infected animals.

It first results in a high fever and quickly develops into a rash, with the formation of crusts. Most often benign, it usually heals spontaneously after two weeks.

In the circulation of the virus, which is transmitted, among other things, through prolonged contact, it does not have to go through so much conduct to cancel the welcoming events of the public provided for this purpose.

“These events are great opportunities to raise awareness among young, sexually active and highly mobile people,” said Hans Kluge, noting that they were “an opportunity to (…) stimulate our engagement.”

Noting that the majority of reported cases have so far involved men who have sex with men, he warned against stigmatization, stressing that “the monkeypox virus is not inherently attached to any group. specific”.

At the moment, the WHO does not recommend mass vaccination. European health authorities on Tuesday ordered more than 100,000 doses of smallpox vaccine approved in the United States for monkeypox and considered effective against the virus.

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