(MENAFN- Trend News Agency)
The World Health Organization does not believe the monkeypox
outbreak outside of Africa requires mass vaccinations as measures
like good hygiene and safe sexual behaviour will help control its
spread, a senior official said, Trend reports citing Reuters .
Richard Pebody, who leads the high-threat pathogen team at WHO
Europe, also told Reuters in an interview that immediate supplies
of vaccines and antivirals are relatively limited.
His comments came as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention said it was in the process of releasing some Jynneos
vaccine doses for use in monkeypox cases.
Germany's government said on Monday that it was assessing
options for vaccinations, while Britain has offered them to some
Public health authorities in Europe and North America are
investigating more than 100 suspected and confirmed cases of the
viral infection in the worst outbreak of the virus outside of
Africa, where it is endemic.
The primary measures to control the outbreak are contact tracing
and isolation, Pebody said, noting that it is not a virus that
spreads very easily, nor has it so far caused serious disease. The
vaccines used to combat monkeypox can have some significant
side-effects, he added.
It is unclear what is driving the outbreak, with scientists
trying to understand the origin of the cases and whether anything
about the virus has changed. There is no evidence the virus has
mutated, a senior executive at the U.N. agency said separately on
Most of the confirmed cases have not been linked to travel to
Africa, which suggests there may be large amounts of undetected
cases, said Pebody. Some health authorities suspect there is some
degree of community spread.
'So we're only seeing ... the tip of the iceberg,' he said.
Given the pace of the outbreak, and lack of clarity around what
is driving it, there has been worry that large events and parties
this summer could make things much worse.
'I'm not saying to people don't have a good time, don't go to
attend these events,' Pebody said.
'It's rather around what people do at the parties that matters.
So it's about safe sexual behaviour, good hygiene, regular hand
washing - all these sorts of things will help to limit the
transmission of this virus.'
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