MIL-OSI Translation: Monkey pox: the outbreak remains “containable”, according to the WHO

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MIL OSI Translation. Region: France and French Territories –

Source: United Nations – in French 2

Headline: Monkey pox: Outbreak remains ‘containable’, says WHO

While more than 250 confirmed and suspected cases of monkeypox have been identified since the detection of the first case on May 7 outside the usual foci of the disease, this outbreak of infections, however unusual it may be, remains “controllable”, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.

“What we know about this virus and these modes of transmission, this outbreak can still be contained, it is the goal of WHO and Member States to contain this outbreak and stop it,” said during at a UN press conference in Geneva, Dr Rosamund Lewis, Chief of the Smallpox Secretariat of the WHO Emergencies Programme.

“The risk to the general public therefore appears to be low, as we know that the main modes of transmission have been those described in the past,” she added.

While the UN world health agency is holding meetings, in the middle of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, to provide its member states with recommendations on how to deal with this pathology, monkey pox has been reported. in 16 countries.

“The latest data provided by WHO Member States as of May 22 shows more than 250 confirmed and suspected cases of monkeypox from 16 countries and multiple WHO regions,” Dr Lewis said.

But despite this slight increase in cases, especially in Europe, the WHO wants to be reassuring. “The transmission of the virus can be stopped in non-endemic countries,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, a senior WHO official, on Monday. An optimism relayed especially since the organization does not see any sign of a mutation of the virus. “The infectious disease does not tend to evolve,” argued the WHO, noting that this virus had fewer mutations but that sequencing would provide a better understanding of the recent outbreak of new infections.

Potentially at-risk groups should “watch out”

As monkeypox spreads through close contact, the response should focus on those affected and their close contacts. However, monkeypox does not spread in the same way as Covid-19. Symptoms can be very similar to those experienced by patients with smallpox, although clinically less severe, although visually dramatic, with raised pustules and fever that can last two to four weeks.

More broadly, the disease is transmitted primarily through close skin-to-skin contact with infected respiratory tract secretions, skin lesions of an infected subject, or objects recently contaminated with body fluids or material from the lesions of an infected person. a patient. The incubation period for monkeypox is usually six to 13 days, but can range from five to 21 days.

“We don’t yet have the information to know if this disease is transmitted through bodily fluids,” Dr. Lewis noted, before urging potentially at-risk groups to “be careful” when in close contact. with other people. And if most cases of infection have been linked mainly to men who have sex with other men, probably because the latter are more proactive than the others in terms of medical consultation, detailed the WHO.

CDC

A young man shows his hands after being infected with monkeypox in the Democratic Republic of Congo (file photo).

Cases reported in the past in CAR, DRC, Nigeria and Cameroon

The disease is also contracted by eating undercooked meat from infected animals. “Most animals susceptible to monkeypox are actually rodents, Gambian rats, dormice, prairie dogs, these are the types of animals from which there can be spillover – zoonotic spillover – from animals to humans who may enter the forest, or who may come into contact with the virus through a zoonotic pathway,” Dr. Lewis continued.

Moreover, what is unusual with this epidemic, “it is the first time that we see cases in many countries at the same time and people (sick) who have not traveled to the endemic regions of central Africa and the West”.

Countries like Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Cameroon are reporting cases right now and other countries have reported cases in the past.

Regarding immunization, WHO had stocks of smallpox vaccines, but these were developed over 40 years ago and needed to be reviewed. New versions of vaccines were also available, but stocks were limited and production had to be increased if necessary. In the meantime, the UN agency notes that the outbreak could be contained through isolation and contact tracing.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and/or sentence structure not be perfect.

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