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WHO counsels on steps to curtail spread of monkeypox

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The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday urged countries of the world to be vigilant and strengthen capacities in order to prevent the spread of monkeypox.

The organization said Nigeria was one of the countries with reported cases of the disease, stressing that 3,200 cases had been confirmed across 48 countries.

WHO Director–General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, during his first meeting of the organisation’s emergence committee, stressed that women were more affected in Nigeria than anywhere else in the world.

Speaking on the outbreak of the disease in newly affected countries, Tedros identified sexual encounters as one of the causes.

He said more than 1,500 cases of the disease with around 70 deaths had been reported in Central Africa, including Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Cameroon.

He therefore called for proactive steps geared towards stalling further spread of the contagious disease.

Read also: Kwara records first case of monkeypox

“Few of these cases are confirmed, and little is known about their circumstances. While the epidemiology and viral clade in these cases may be different, it is a situation that cannot be ignored. We have sometimes seen the consequences of countries not being transparent, of not sharing information.

“In Nigeria, the proportion of women affected is much higher than elsewhere. It is critical to better understand how the disease is spreading there.

“All countries have to remain vigilant and strengthen their capacities to prevent onward transmission of monkeypox. It is likely that many countries will have missed opportunities to identify cases, including cases in the community without any recent travel.

“We also need to work together as an international community to generate the necessary clinical efficacy and safety data on vaccines and therapeutics against monkeypox and ensure their equitable distribution”.

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