Wed. Dec 6th, 2023

Geneva: Vaccines against monkeypox are not 100 per cent effective and that is why, people must reduce their own risks of infection, WHO technical lead Rosamund Lewis said on Wednesday. This comes as more than 35,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported worldwide across more than 92 countries and 12 deaths have been attributed to the disease.

Addressing a press briefing, Lewis said that WHO is “not expecting a 100 per cent efficacy” for these vaccines for the prevention of monkeypox.

“We don`t have the exact information … it reminds us that vaccine is not a silver bullet? That every person who feels that they are at risk and appreciates the level of risk and wishes to lower their risk have many interventions at their disposal, which includes vaccination where available, but also includes protection from activities, where they may be at risk,” she said.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that almost 7,500 cases were reported last week, which is a 20 per cent increase over the previous week.

The WHO chief also said that most of the monkeypox cases are being reported from Europe and the Americas -among men who have sex with men.

“More than 35,000 cases of monkeypox have now been reported to WHO, from 92 countries and territories, with 12 deaths. Almost 7,500 cases were reported last week, a 20 per cent increase over the previous week, which was also 20 per cent more than the week before,” he said during a media briefing.

Back in July, Tedros announced that the global monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern.

Most people usually recover from monkeypox within a few weeks without treatment. The symptoms are initially flu-like, such as fever, chills, and swollen lymph nodes, which are then followed by a widespread rash. According to the WHO, the disease can be more severe in young children, pregnant women, and individuals who are immunocompromised.

The monkeypox virus is not easily transmitted and usually spreads through close physical contact, including sexual contact, with an infected individual.

The virus can enter a human body through broken skin, the respiratory tract, eyes, nose and mouth, and via bodily fluids. Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease. It originates in animals like rodents and primates and occurs in remote parts of Central and West Africa. 

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