‘Most powerful tool against monkeypox is…’: WHO shares virus trends – 14,000 cases from 70+ countries so far


WHO Director-General Tedros

New Delhi: The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday said that almost 14,000 confirmed cases of monkeypox have so far been reported from 70 plus countries. So far, five deaths have been reported, all in Africa. Most cases continue to be reported from Europe.
Addressing a press conference, WHO Director-General Tedros said the health organisation is seeing a declining trend in some countries, others are still seeing an increase, and six countries reported their first cases last week.
Earlier this month, India too reported its first case of monkeypox in Kerala. So far, two cases have been reported in the southern state, from Kannur and Kollam.

The WHO DG said some of these countries have much less access to diagnostics, making the outbreak harder to track, and harder to stop. “The WHO is validating, procuring, and shipping tests to multiple countries and will continue to provide support for expanded access to effective diagnostics,” he said.

Tedros further said one of the most powerful tools against monkeypox is information. The more information people at risk of monkeypox have, he said, the more they are able to protect themselves.

“That’s why WHO is continuing to work with patients and community advocates to develop and deliver information tailored to the affected communities, and more likely to be accepted and implemented,” the WHO chief said.

Tedros further said that tomorrow, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee will reconvene to review the latest data and to consider whether the monkeypox outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.

On Covid, he said there are many sublineages of the Omicron variant, most notably BA.5, which is the most transmissible variant detected yet. He said this virus will continue to evolve, and “we must be ready for whatever it throws at us”.

“That could be a new version of the variants we already know, or something completely new. We know that for any future variant to become widespread, it must be more transmissible than previous variants. But we can’t know how deadly it will be,” he said.

Tedros said all countries must be ready. “Countries that have dismantled some parts of their pandemic response systems are taking a huge risk,” he said.

Monkeypox Kerala Health Department Issues Alert After Second Confirmed Case An Outbreak Likely
Monkeypox: Kerala Health Department Issues Alert After Second Confirmed Case. An Outbreak Likely?