Europe: Multiple cases of the monkeypox virus have been detected in Belgium. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says it sees ‘no cause for alarm’, though it does recommend certain measures in the face of the virus’ unusual spread.
Some of the 300 cases have been confirmed in over 20 nations outside of the equatorial African nation, which has been present for decades.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) outlines that it is not a disease that the general public should be concerned about. “It is not like COVID-19,” the director of the epidemic risk department at WHO, Sylvie Briand, stated on Friday.
Moreover, the organisation highlighted that while nations should take quick steps to contain the spread of monkeypox and share data about their vaccine stockpiles, there is currently no need for mass vaccination.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control (ECDPC) has alerted that monkeypox could become endemic in Europe, and experts agree that it will not be the next pandemic.
Along with this, the World Health Organisation does call on member states to identify quickly and isolate infected people, of whom the vast majority are expected to have a mild form of the disease.
However, pregnant women, children, and immunocompromised people run a higher risk of developing a severe form.
Briand mentioned in the statement, “We currently have a good window of opportunity to stop the spread of the disease. But we don’t know the size of the smallpox vaccine stockpile, which could also be useful against monkeypox.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) expects cases of monkeypox to continue to rise. “Right now, we don’t know if we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg,” stated Briand.