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Monkeypox: WHO issues dire warning amid 20 UK infections – ‘Formidable challenges’ | Science | News


Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu, Director General of the WHO, made the remarks in Geneva where experts are discussing the monkeypox outbreak. Around 80 cases have been confirmed in Europe, the US, Canada, Australia and Israel.

Nonetheless, the danger to the general public is claimed to be low, in line with experts.

Monkeypox is a virus that is normally present in Central and West Africa but it surely doesn’t easily spread between people.

Additionally it is normally mild and, in line with the NHS, most individuals who catch the virus will get well inside a number of weeks.

Nonetheless, scientists have been taken by surprise by the outbreak with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) now advising that cases or high risk cases should isolate for 3 weeks.

In accordance with The Guardian, more confirmed cases are expected to be announced on Monday.

Belgium announced a 3 week quarantine for infected people on Friday – the primary European country to achieve this.

Speaking at Sunday’s opening of the World Health Assembly, Director General Dr Tedros said that the world faced a “formidable convergence” of problems.

He said: “In fact the [Covid] pandemic just isn’t the one crisis in our world. 

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“As we speak our colleagues around the globe are responding to outbreaks of Ebola within the Democratic Republic of Congo, monkeypox and hepatitis of unknown cause and complicated humanitarian crises in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine and Yemen.

“We face a formidable convergence of disease, drought, famine and war, fuelled by climate change, inequity and geopolitical rivalry.”

The WHO said earlier that more suspected monkeypox cases were being investigated with more cases more likely to be confirmed.

Although the outbreak was first identified within the UK, it has spread to a variety of other European countries including Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Italy and Sweden. 

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Austria and Switzerland also confirmed cases on Sunday.

Around 20 cases have been identified by the UK Health Security Agency, with its Chief medical advisor Dr Susan Hopkins telling the BBC: “We’re detecting more cases on a every day basis.”

Dr Hopkins added that the virus is now spreading locally with cases identified amongst individuals who have had no contact with anyone who has travelled to West Africa where the disease is common.

Nonetheless, the danger is “extremely low” with Dr Hopkins emphasising that cases have mostly been present in urban areas or amongst gay or bisexual men.

Although there is not a selected vaccine for the disease, some countries are utilising smallpox vaccines that are around 85 percent effective at stopping infection because the two diseases have some similarities.

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