World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed more than 100 cases monkey pox in at least 11 countries, mainly in Europeas of Friday (20/5).
Germany considers monkeypox to be the biggest epidemic in Europe today. Besides Germany, 10 other countries that have recorded cases of monkeypox are Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, England, the United States, Canada and Australia.
“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.
WHO immediately held a Strategic and Technical Advisory meeting on Infectious Hazards with Pandemic and Epidemic Potential (STAG-IH) to discuss this monkeypox outbreak.
The WHO committee is responsible for providing advice on the risk of infectious diseases that pose a global health threat.
However, this WHO committee does not have the authority to decide whether an outbreak should be declared a public health emergency of international concern, the WHO’s highest form of vigilance, currently being applied to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“There appears to be a low risk to the general public at this time,” said a senior US government official.
24 new cases of monkeypox were recorded in Spain. Most cases are in Madrid.
That prompted the Madrid government to close all saunas believed to be linked to most of the city’s monkeypox infections.
Quoted Reuters, a hospital in Israel treated a 30-year-old man who showed the same symptoms as monkeypox. The man is known to have just arrived from Western Europe.
First identified in monkeys, the disease is usually spread by close and infrequent contact. The first monkeypox epidemic spread in West Africa.
However, scientists do not believe the outbreak will develop into a pandemic like Covid-19, given that the monkeypox virus does not spread as easily as SARS-CoV-2.
However, the WHO Representative in Europe is concerned that monkeypox could escalate in the region at any time as people begin to gather and party again this summer.
There is no specific vaccine for monkeypox. However, the vaccine that has been used to prevent the common smallpox disease called the WHO can be 85 percent effective against monkeypox.
The first European case was confirmed on 7 May in an individual who returned to the UK from Nigeria.