WHO claims to coordinate with UK on monkeypox outbreak – The Citizen



the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday it was coordinating with the UK and other European health officials after UK authorities detected at least seven cases of monkeypox this month.

Health officials noted that some of these infections could occur through sexual contact, in this case between gay or bisexual men, which would represent a new development in understanding of virus transmission.

Symptoms in humans of monkeypox – which is endemic to parts of central and western Africa – include injuries, fever, body aches, and chills.

Transmission usually occurs through close contact with infected animals such as rodents and monkeys and is limited between people. It was fatal only in rare cases.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said on Monday it had detected four new cases, three in London and a related case in Newcastle, north-east England, after registering three cases at the start of May.

All four additional cases were men who have sex with men or identify as gay or bisexual, UKHSA said.

No one has known links to the three previously confirmed cases, the first of which was related to the trip from Nigeria, he added.

According to the agency, those patients in need of medical treatment are found in specialized infectious disease units in London and Newcastle hospitals.

In a briefing on Tuesday, the WHO said a “further probable” case was also reported in Britain.

“We are seeing a broadcast between men having sex with men,” Ibrahima Soce Fall, Deputy Director General for Emergency Response at WHO, told reporters.

“(It is) new information that we need to investigate properly, to better understand the dynamics of local broadcasting in the UK and some other countries.”

Maria Van Kerkhove, another WHO official, said the organization is working with its regional office, as well as the European Centers for Disease Control and UKHSA, to better understand the outbreak.

“We are working closely with [them]… to evaluate each of these cases, the source of their infection, “he added.

Van Kerkhove noted that this involved “forward contact tracing to ensure there is no further human-to-human transmission, as well as posterior contact tracing to better understand the source of their infection.”

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