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Monkeypox Is Retreating, But The Threat Still Exists, According To Experts

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Monkeypox Is Retreating, But The Threat Still Exists, According To Experts

(CTN News) – While the monkeypox outbreak has receded over the past few months, experts caution against prematurely declaring victory.

This is because a resurgence is still possible and the virus still circulates in the African countries where it has been endemic for many years.

Over 73,000 cases of monkeypox and 29 deaths have been reported in over 100 countries since May, according to the World Health Organization.

The number of infections has steadily decreased since July, particularly in Europe and North America, which were the hardest hit areas in the early stages of the outbreak.

However, the number of cases continues to increase in some regions, including in South America, where infections have increased by seven percent over the past year in Peru.

Last week, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO chief, stated that “a declining outbreak can be the most dangerous outbreak, because it can tempt us to believe that the crisis has ended and to relax our guard.”

Experts told AFP that a change in behavior by at-risk communities, particularly men who have sex with men, has been a major factor in the decline of cases.

However, vaccination has also played a significant role.

The campaigns launched by organizations within those communities have contributed to raising awareness, Manuguerra said, noting that these groups are “closer to the ground and perhaps more listened to than the authorities”.

The vaccines, which were originally developed to prevent smallpox, are still recommended to protect against monkeypox.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last month that unvaccinated individuals were 14 times more likely to contract monkeypox.

According to the ECDC, “significant uncertainties remain” regarding the outbreak’s future.

According to the ECDC, the virus is likely to remain at a relatively low level, with sporadic outbreaks occurring “almost exclusively” among men who have sexual contact with men.

In contrast to Covid, monkeypox is much less contagious and does not mutate into other variants as quickly.

While monkeypox has spread around the globe this year, the majority of deaths have occurred in 11 African countries where it is still endemic.

According to Steve Ahuka-Mundeke, the head of virology at INRB, the national medical research institute of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the source of the virus remains in Africa.

“We have again observed that global strategies are deployed only when northern countries are affected — which in no way absolves the African health authorities,” he added.

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