Geneva: The World Health Organization stated that now more than 35,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported to it from 92 countries and territories, with 12 deaths.
Almost 7,500 cases were reported last week, a 20% increase over the previous week, which was also 20% more than the week before, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told media persons here today.
Almost all cases are being reported from Europe and the Americas, and almost all cases continue to be reported among men who have sex with men, underscoring the importance for all countries to design and deliver services and information tailored to these communities that protect health, human rights and dignity.
“The primary focus for all countries must be to ensure they are ready for monkeypox, and to stop transmission using effective public health tools, including enhanced disease surveillance, careful contact tracing, tailored risk communication and community engagement, and risk reduction measures,” Dr Ghebreyesus said, adding that vaccines may also play an important part in controlling the outbreak, and in many countries, there is high demand for vaccines from the affected communities.
However, for the moment, supplies of vaccines, and data about their effectiveness, are limited, although we are starting to receive data from some countries. WHO stated it was in close contact with the manufacturers of vaccines, and with countries and organizations who are willing to share doses.
We remain concerned that the inequitable access to vaccines we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic will be repeated, and that the poorest will continue to be left behind.
WHO announced last week, that a meeting of experts convened by it agreed to rename the two known clades of monkeypox virus using Roman numerals. The clade formerly known as the Congo Basin or Central African clade will now be referred to as clade I, while the West African clade will be called clade II.
“Work on renaming the disease and the virus is ongoing,” the WHO D-G said.
– global bihari bureau