Monkeypox Reaches 100 Cases, WHO Holds Emergency Meeting

Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – The World Health Organization (WHO) held an emergency meeting to discuss the monkeypox outbreak (monkeypox) on Friday (20/5/2022). The meeting comes after more than 100 confirmed or suspected cases in Europe.

Launch Reuters, this WHO committee meeting will be conducted by the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on Infectious Hazards with Pandemic and Epidemic Potential (STAG-IH). They are a group that advises on the risk of infections that could pose a global health threat.

However, STAG-IH will not be responsible for deciding whether the outbreak should be declared a public health emergency of international concern, namely the WHO’s highest form of warning, currently applied to the Covid-19 pandemic.

As is known, cases of monkeypox have been reported in at least nine countries, namely Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and England, as well as the United States (US), Canada and Australia.

Spain reported 24 new cases on Friday, mainly in the Madrid area where the local government shut down saunas linked to most of the infections.

A hospital in Israel is treating a man in his 30s who is showing symptoms consistent with the disease after recently arriving from Western Europe.

First identified in monkeys, the disease usually spreads by close contact and rarely spreads beyond Africa, so this case series is a cause for concern. Monkeypox itself is usually a mild viral disease, characterized by fever and a characteristic bumpy rash.

However, scientists don’t expect the outbreak to develop into a pandemic like Covid-19, given that the virus doesn’t spread as easily as SARS-CoV-2.

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“This is the largest and most widespread outbreak of monkeypox ever seen in Europe,” said the medical service of the German armed forces, which detected its first case in the country on Friday.

Although there is no specific vaccine for monkeypox, WHO data show that the vaccine used to eradicate smallpox is up to 85% effective against monkeypox.

Since 1970, cases of monkeypox have been reported in 11 African countries. Nigeria has been experiencing a major ongoing outbreak since 2017. According to the WHO, so far this year, there have been 46 suspected cases, with 15 of them having been confirmed.

The first European case was confirmed on 7 May in an individual who returned to the UK from Nigeria. Since then, more than 100 cases have been confirmed outside Africa, according to a tracker by Oxford University academics.

Many cases are not related to travel to the continent. As a result, the cause of the outbreak is unclear, although health authorities say there is potential for community spread to some degree.

The WHO also previously said early cases of monkeypox were unusual for three reasons: all but one had no relevant travel history to monkeypox endemic areas; mostly detected through sexual health services and among men who have sex with men; and the wide geographic spread across Europe and beyond suggest that the contagion may have been going on for some time.

Britain’s Health Safety Board said the country’s new cases were mostly among men who identified as homosexual, bisexual or men who have sex with men. Even so, it is still too early to call monkeypox a sexually transmitted disease.

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WHO: Not a Covid Pandemic, This Will End in 2022

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