The World Health Organization does not see a priority in massively vaccinating the populations of any country against monkeypox, a disease of which nearly 200 cases have been registered in non-endemic countries, experts from the organization said today.
“Contact tracing, case studies and isolation are for now the main tools to control the disease,” added expert Rosamund Lewis, from the WHO smallpox department, at a technical session on the current outbreak held in the annual meeting of the organization.
The director of WHO Health Emergencies, Mike Ryan, added in this regard that “each country will probably need a small contingent of vaccines, not on a large scale.”RELATED
Regarding the groups that could be vaccinated, Lewis indicated that although each country could establish its own guidelines in the current situation, since 2013 it is recommended for this type of virus, above all, to immunize laboratory personnel, health workers and first aid.
The conventional smallpox vaccine, a more serious disease but eradicated on the planet since 1978, is highly effective, although the WHO acknowledged that it does not have data on the doses stored on the planet and asked the countries that have them to report it. .
In parallel, a more modern monkeypox vaccine has been approved by health authorities in the US and Canada, although it has not yet undergone WHO qualification studies, Lewis said.
The director of Epidemic and Pandemic Diseases of the WHO, Sylvie Briand, added for her part that the organization for now excludes recommending travel limitations in relation to the current outbreak.
He also announced that a consultation session will be held on June 2 and 3 with the participation of more than 2,000 experts in which the current outbreak of monkeypox and measures to combat it through tests, treatments and vaccines will be analyzed.
Today’s technical session did not give specific data on cases by country, although Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States were listed as the territories with the most reported infections for now.
Briand assured that the disease “should not concern the general public as much as others with rapid transmission such as covid” nor should it unleash anxiety, but he did recognize the need to increase health surveillance.
The expert pointed out that the fatality rate in endemic countries (West and Central Africa) is between 3 and 6%: “In general it is a disease with moderate symptoms, but it can be more serious in children, pregnant women or people with certain conditions.
It usually lasts two to four weeks, often starting with a fever, headaches, fatigue or itching, and progressing to rashes that usually start on the face but can spread to other parts of the body, Briand recalled.
As preventive measures, the WHO recommends avoiding physical contact with infected people, wearing a mask when in contact with them or their clothing, and cleaning and disinfecting possibly contaminated surfaces.
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