WHO maintains high alert for monkeypox

WHO maintains maximum alert for monkeypox


The WHO has decided to maintain the maximum health alert on monkeypox despite a notable drop in cases in the most affected countries in Europe and America, according to a press release from the organization published Tuesday. 

The WHO Emergency Committee said that despite progress in controlling outbreaks of the viral disease, there are still “reasons for concern”, in particular because of new infections in some countries, but also the lack of resources in poor countries or the risk of stigmatizing populations at risk, underlines the press release from the group of experts who met on October 20.

The Public Health Emergency of International Concern – WHO's highest level of health alert – was declared on July 23 by the organization's Director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The disease – which is endemic in some West African countries – is characterized by rashes, which may appear on the genitals or in the mouth, and may be accompanied by bouts of fever, sore throat or pain in the lymph nodes.

Starting in May, health authorities noted outbreaks in Europe and the United States.

Most cases so far have been men who have sex with men, relatively young.

The WHO has from the outset cautioned against stigmatizing any particular community, stressing that transmission was not confined to men who have sex with men. A number of women and children (outside the endemic area) have contracted the disease. It is thanks in particular to the mobilization and awareness campaigns of LGBTQ rights organizations that the hotbeds have been reduced.

As of October 31, 77,264 cases have been recorded in 103 countries and the disease has claimed 36 lives, according to the WHO dashboard.

During the week of October 24 to 30, the number of cases fell globally by 40.7%.

The majority of new infections in the past month occurred in the Americas (88.7%) and the Eastern Europe region. WHO, which has 53 countries, (7.7%).

The 10 most affected countries are the United States, Brazil, Spain, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Colombia, Peru, Mexico and Canada. They alone accounted for 86.4% of all recorded cases globally.

In the week of October 24-30, Nigeria recorded the highest rise among 15 countries that have seen increasing cases.

In contrast, 58 countries have not reported a case for 21 days, which is the maximum incubation period of the disease during which a carrier does not show any of the symptoms very characteristic of the disease.