The World Health Organization’s Europe board member said on Friday that monkeypox cases in the area had quadrupled in the past two weeks and asked governments to do more to prevent the formerly rare illness before it becomes an established one on the continent.
African health officials have called the rising monkeypox epidemic an emergency, asking wealthier nations to share scarce vaccination supplies to prevent the major issues witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
WHO Europe chief Dr. Hans Kluge said in a statement that more work was needed despite the U.N. health agency’s decision last week that the escalating outbreak was not yet declared as a global health emergency.
Kluge Statement on the Disease
Kluge said that Urgent and coordinated action is imperative if it is expected to turn a corner in the race to reverse the ongoing spread of this disease
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 5,000 monkeypox cases have been reported from 51 countries throughout the world that do not regularly report the disease. Kluge stated that the numbers of illness in Europe stands for approximately 90% of the worldwide total, with 31 nations in the WHO’s European area reporting cases.
Kluge stated that data given to the WHO reveal that 99 percent of instances are in males, with the majority of men having intercourse with men. He did, however, state that there were now a modest number of infections among household contacts, including children. The majority of patients experienced a rash, fever, exhaustion, muscular discomfort, vomiting, and chills.
Scientists warn that anyone who comes into close personal contact with someone who has monkeypox, or who uses their clothing or bedsheets, is at danger of contracting the disease. Children and pregnant women, for example, are considered to be more vulnerable to severe illness. Approximately 10% of patients were brought to a hospital for treatment or isolation, and one individual was sent to an intensive care unit. There have been no recorded deaths.
Causes of disease in Europe
In May, a top WHO official stated that the increase in infections in Europe was most likely due to sexual behaviour by males at two rave parties in Spain and Belgium. Ahead of this weekend’s LGBT pride activities in the United Kingdom, London’s top public health doctor advised those with monkeypox symptoms, such as swollen glands or blisters, to stay at home.
Nonetheless, the WHO reports that in Africa, monkeypox cases were virtually evenly split between men and women, and no spread has been observed among males who have sex with men, based on precise data from Ghana. Kluge, the head of WHO Europe, also stated that vaccine procurement must adhere to equitable standards.The primary monkeypox vaccine was initially designed for smallpox, and the European Medicines Agency announced this week that it was starting to investigate whether it should be approved for monkeypox. According to the WHO, stocks of the vaccine, manufactured by Bavarian Nordic, are exceedingly restricted.
Other European Countries
Countries such as the United Kingdom and Germany have already begun vaccination those at high risk of monkeypox; the United Kingdom recently expanded its immunisation programme to include largely homosexual and bisexual males who have several sexual partners and are regarded to be the most vulnerable.
As of may, monkeypox has never been known to create big outbreaks outside of portions of central and west Africa, where it has been affecting humans for decades. It is endemic in various countries and generally causes localized epidemics when it leaps from infected wild animals to people.There have been over 1,800 probable monkeypox cases in Africa, with over 70 deaths, but only 109 have been lab-confirmed. Many instances go undiscovered due to a lack of laboratory diagnosis and inadequate monitoring.
Ahmed Ogwell claimed that this epidemic is an emergency for them, acting head of the Africa Centers for Disease Control. According to the WHO, monkeypox has expanded to previously uninfected African nations such as South Africa, Ghana, and Morocco. However, according to WHO Africa head Dr. Moeti Matshidiso, Congo and Nigeria account for more than 90% of the continent’s illnesses.