The Regional Director of WHO Europe, Hans Kluge speaking on the rising cases of monkeypox, stated that the outbreak is mostly found in the European region in the cases where men had physical intercourse with men.
Kluge, in his recent statement, cited, “We need to identify close contacts of cases and support them as well, to self-monitor for 21 days for any early signs of monkeypox, such as fever. So far in Europe, the majority – though not all – of reported patients have been among men who have sex with men. Many – but not all patients report multiple and sometimes anonymous sexual partners”.
Following the above statement, he then added, “Identifying, tracing and notifying sexual partners quickly is therefore often difficult but remains critical in order to stop onwards spread. But – and this is important – we must remember that the monkeypox virus is not in itself attached to any specific group”.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) convened experts so as to decide of monkeypox is an emergency or not.
According to Hans Kluge, the second step to curbing transmission is intensive community engagement and more transparent communication.
“We have entered the summer months in the northern hemisphere, with summer tourism, various Pride events, music festivals and other mass gatherings planned across the Region”, he then added.
These events are powerful opportunities to engage with young, sexually active and highly mobile people. Monkeypox is not a reason to cancel events but an opportunity to leverage them to drive our engagement, the regional director further added.
The international agency is also working to reach out quick to the communities as well as event organizers so as to provide and raise awareness about monkeypox infection and strengthen individual and community protection.
“For decades, monkeypox has been endemic in parts of western and central Africa – and for decades, it has been neglected by the rest of the world”, Kluge added.