WHO warns of “sustained transmission” of monkeypox in vulnerable groups

The viral disease has been detected in more than 50 countries, excluding Africa.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that “sustained transmission’’ of monkeypox worldwide could see the virus infect high-risk groups such as children, pregnant women and immunocompromised people. On Wednesday, the WHO stated that it was investigating reports of infected children which include two cases in Britain and they are also following up on reports in Spain and France. None of the reported cases have been severe. Monkeypox has been detected in over 5o new countries outside of Africa- where the virus disease is endemic. More than 3,400 cases and one death have been confirmed since the outbreak was first reported in May. As cases have been rising the WHO has called for testing to be ramped up.

"I'm concerned about sustained transmission because it would suggest that the virus (is) establishing itself and it could move into high risk groups including children, the immunocompromised and pregnant women," noted WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in an online briefing from Geneva on Wednesday. The WHO has ruled out the outbreak as a global health emergency. Ghebreyesus stated that he is "deeply concerned" regarding the "evolving health threat" which he is tracking "extremely closely." The United Nations agency stated that they are working on a plan to supply vaccines more equitably, after counties like Britain and United States suggested they are willing to share their stockpiled smallpox vaccines which also protects against monkeypox. The viral disease does not spread as easily as COVID-19 and there are vaccines available as opposed to the coronavirus when it arose.