Summer festivals, parties could further spread monkeypox – WHO warns

Photo showing the dorsal surfaces of a monkeypox case in a patient who was displaying the appearance of the characteristic rash during its recuperative stage. Photo: AFP

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned of a possible further spread of monkeypox at festivals and big events planned for this summer in Europe.

Hans Henri Kluge WHO Regional Director for Europe said in a statement that potential for further transmission in Europe and elsewhere over the summer is high.

Kluge however said festivals and celebrations planned for the coming months will also offer an opportunity to raise awareness and strengthen individual and community protection among the young, the sexually active and the globally mobile.

He said investigations into the cases so far suggest that the outbreak in Europe started from mid-April.

He added that it is the largest and most geographically widespread ever reported outside West and Central Africa areas where monkeypox is endemic.

According to him, rapid monkeypox transmission was assisted by the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in most of Europe in recent months.

“Although many cases so far have been linked to sexual activity, the virus could affect anyone.

“As the virus didn’t spread through the same pathways as COVID-19, there is no need for the sweeping public health measures imposed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“But this is important, we do not yet know if we will be able to contain its spread completely,” he added. (dpa)

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