Monkeypox has probably been spreading ‘under the radar’ says WHO

Image of monkeypox virus cells. Credit: [email protected]

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that monkeypox could have been spreading undetected for some time.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned during this last week that hundreds of cases of monkeypox have emerged beyond African countries where the disease is normally found. They raised their concern that the virus is likely to have been spreading below the radar for some time, as picked up last Thursday, June 2, by Science Alert.

Rosamund Lewis, the UN health agency’s top monkeypox expert, said that the appearance of so many cases in much of Europe and other countries where it had not been seen before “is clearly a cause for concern, and suggests an undetected transmission for a while”.

“We don’t know if it’s weeks, months, or possibly a couple of years”, she continued, adding: “we really don’t know if it’s too late to contain”.

In addition, the WHO said that the stigma linked to monkeypox must be combated because it could discourage patients from seeking medical attention, and thus make it difficult to contain it.

“We all need to work hard against stigma, which is not only wrong but can prevent affected individuals from seeking care, and make it more difficult to stop transmission”, the WHO chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus explained.

The organisation’s leader clarified that “anyone can become infected with monkeypox if they have close physical contact with someone who is infected”.

“Investigations are ongoing, but the sudden appearance of monkeypox in many countries at the same time suggests there may have been undetected transmission for some time,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus concluded.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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