The total number of Monkeypox cases has crossed 1,000 from 29 countries where the virus is not endemic and monkeypox now poses a very real risk of spreading in countries it's not endemic to, the WHO said.
WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus addressed the press late Wednesday, 8 June, stating that the spread of monkeypox across 29 countries is a matter of concern.
"So far no deaths have been reported in these countries, but some countries are beginning to report cases of community transmission. Cases have been reported mainly, but not only, in men who have sex with men. Some countries are also reporting some cases in women."Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General, WHO
The first case of monkeypox in humans was recorded in 1970, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the virus is endemic to.
Monkeypox is endemic to West and Central Africa, with little instances of the disease outside these parts, till 2022.
Monkeypox: Safety and Precautions
The WHO has added that they're particularly concerned about risk of the virus to vulnerable groups like pregnant women and children, adding that they should be particularly careful.
"People with symptoms should isolate at home and consult a health worker. If you share a house with an infected person, avoid close contact with them."Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General, WHO
While the WHO has antivirals and vaccines for monkeypox, these only exist in limited numbers. The organization added that it does not recommend mass vaccinations at this juncture, and that it will distribute supplies based on "public health needs and fairness".
The vaccines are currently being prioritized for health workers and laboratory workers who face more exposure to the virus, as well as a higher risk of infection.
"This virus has been circulating and killing in Africa for decades. It’s an unfortunate reflection of the society we live in that the international community is only now paying attention to monkeypox because it has appeared in high-income countries. The communities that live with the threat of monkeypox every day deserve the same concern, the same care and the same access to tools to protect themselves."Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General, WHO
As of 6 June 2022, cases of monkeypox in countries where it is not endemic to, crossed 780. The samples of a child from UP's Ghaziabad in India were sent for testing for monkeypox on 6 June, with doctors stating that infection was highly unlikely.
No cases of monkeypox have been recorded in India as of 9 June 2022.