WHO warns ‘persistent transmission’ of monkeypox threatens vulnerable groups

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World Health Organization says “Sustained transmission” of monkeypox worldwide you can see how the virus starts to move to high-risk groups such as pregnant women, immunocompromised people and children.

On Wednesday, the WHO said it was investigating reports of infected children, including two cases in the UK, and was monitoring reports in Spain and France. None of the cases in children were severe.

The virus has now been found in more than 50 new countries outside of Africa, where it is endemic. The number of cases in these countries is also on the rise, according to the WHO, calling for more testing.

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“I am concerned about sustained transmission because it suggests that the virus is establishing itself and could reach high-risk groups, including children, immunocompromised people and pregnant women,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at an online briefing from Geneva. on Wednesday.

The logo on the building of the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland on February 19.  2, 2020.

The logo on the building of the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland on February 19. 2, 2020.
(Reuters/Denis Balibuz)

Was more than 3400 cases of monkeypox, and one death since the outbreak began in May, mostly in Europe among men who have sex with men, according to a WHO tally. This year has also seen more than 1,500 cases and 66 deaths in countries where it commonly spreads.

The WHO ruled last week that the outbreak does not yet constitute a public health emergency, which is the highest level of concern. However, Tedros said the WHO was closely monitoring the outbreak and would reconvene the committee “as soon as possible” to assess if this was the case. [L1N2YE0YM]

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The UN agency said it was also working on a mechanism distribute vaccines more equitablyafter countries including the UK and the US said they were ready to share their stocks of smallpox vaccines, which also protect against monkeypox.