SWITZERLAND: The World Health Organisation (WHO) and its partners are investigating the recent outbreak of monkeypox across 12 countries. The WHO held a meeting with the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on Infectious Hazards with Pandemic and Epidemic Potential (STAG-IH) on Saturday to share information and response strategies for the disease.
So far, 80 cases have been confirmed with 50 more pending investigations. The WHO expects more cases to be reported as surveillance expands.
Till recently, the virus has been endemic in animal populations in a handful of countries, leading to occasional outbreaks among locals and tourists. The recent outbreaks reported across 12 countries are atypical as they are occurring in non-endemic countries.
The WHO is working with the affected countries to expand disease surveillance in order to find and support people who may be affected, and to provide guidance on how to manage the disease. The WHO has encouraged people to only trust reliable sources of information when it comes to finding out about the symptoms and prevention of the viral disease.
The WHO said the virus spreads through close contact. So, in the case of someone getting infected, the focus should be on the people who have interacted with them. People who closely interact with an infected person are at greater risk for infection. This includes health workers, household members and sexual partners.
The WHO also said stigmatising infected people can be a barrier to ending the outbreak as it may prevent people from seeking care, and lead to undetected spread of the disease.
The WHO said it will continue to convene meetings with experts and technical advisory groups to discuss and investigate the disease. Live TV – IANS