Smallpox monkeys: WHO, high risk of transmission in summer – Health

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Festivals and large summer parties. The typical aggregation events of the summer end up under the lens of the World Health Organization (WHO) due to the risk of a further spread of monkeypox. The very summer, due to the major gathering occasions as well as the concomitant failure of the restriction measures, represents in fact a period of potential and high propagation of the virus. The “rapid and amplified” transmission of monkeypox “has occurred in the context of the recent lifting of pandemic restrictions on travel and international events. The potential for further transmission in Europe and elsewhere during the summer is high,” warns Hans Henri P. Kluge, director of the World Health Organization for the European region. The virus, explains the expert in an update document, “has already spread against the backdrop of several mass gatherings. In the coming months, many of the dozens of festivals and large parties scheduled provide additional contexts in which amplification could occur. “. At the same time, the contexts of festivals and summer parties, explains WHO, “also provide powerful opportunities to engage with young, sexually active and mobile people globally to raise awareness and strengthen individual and community protection”.

Kluge also notes that it is known that “most people who contract monkeypox will have a mild, self-limiting but unpleasant and potentially painful disease, which can last up to several weeks. We do not yet know – he says – what impact. on health there will be in individuals who can have severe outcomes from monkeypox, particularly young children, pregnant women and immunocompromised people. ” WHO recalls that the current outbreak is transmitted through networks linked in large part to sexual activity, which mainly involves men who have sex with men. “We must remember, however, as we have seen from previous outbreaks, that monkeypox is caused by a virus that can infect anyone and is not intrinsically associated with any specific group of people,” WHO specifies. ” As for the countermeasures, according to the WHO, an effective response will not require the same extensive actions aimed at the population that were necessary to deal with Covid, because the virus does not spread in the same way. But, “and this is important – said Kluge – we still don’t know if we will be able to completely contain its diffusion”. For this, he says, “we need a significant and urgent reduction in exposures through clear communication, case isolation during the infectious period and effective contact tracing and monitoring.” In addition, although a vaccine (MVA-BN) and a specific treatment (Tecovirimat) were approved for monkeypox in 2019 and 2022 respectively, these countermeasures, WHO concludes, “are not yet widely available. The goal. it is therefore to contain this outbreak by interrupting human-to-human transmission to the maximum extent possible “.

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