(CTN News) – A senior World Health Organisation official says countries should take quick steps to contain the spread of monkeypox and share information about their vaccine stockpiles.
In her address to the UN agency’s annual assembly, WHO director Sylvie Briand said, “If we put in place the right measures, we probably can contain this easily.”.
An endemic disease in parts of the west and central Africa, monkeypox is usually a mild viral infection.
Due to its transmission by close contact, it was rarely seen in other parts of the world until the recent outbreak. This is why recent cases in Europe, the United States, and other areas are alarming.
Related: Monkeypox Has Spread To More Than 20 Countries, But It Can Be Containable, Says WHO
Approximately 300 cases have been confirmed or suspected in around 20 countries where the virus had not previously circulated.
At a technical briefing for member states, Briand said, the key priority is trying to contain the transmission in non-endemic countries.
According to her, early detection, isolation, and contact tracing are crucial.
In addition to stockpiles of smallpox vaccines, states should also share information about monkeypox vaccines, Briand said.
“We don’t know how many doses are available in the world, so we encourage all countries to tell WHO what their stocks are,” she said. Global supplies are described as very limited on a slide of her presentation.
Currently, WHO officials advise against mass vaccination, instead recommending targeted vaccination were available for close contact with people who may have been infected.
“Case investigation, contact tracing, and isolation at home will be your best bets,” said Rosamund Lewis, WHO head of the smallpox secretariat of the WHO Emergencies Programme.
Symptoms of Monkeypox
Fever, headache, muscle aches, backaches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and tiredness are among the initial symptoms, according to UKHSA. The rash may appear later, usually starting on the face and spreading to other parts of the body. The rash typically progresses through many stages before forming a scab, which eventually peels off.