Monkeypox outbreak: 5-10 million doses needed to fight virus, says WHO as global cases cross 18,000-mark | World News

New Delhi: The World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday (July 27, 2022) said that the world needs 5-10 million doses of the Monkeypox vaccine to protect high-risk groups from the virus outbreak. Tedos informed that there were about 16 million doses of approved vaccine available, but only in bulk, so it would take several months to get them into vials. It estimates that between 5 million and 10 million doses of vaccine will be needed to protect all high-risk groups, Tedros said. 

Additionally, Tedros highlighted that Europe and the Americas have been affected the most by the monkeypox outbreak. These two regions have reported 95 per cent of the diagnosed cases, he said, warning against stigma and discrimination in monkeypox messaging. Ghebreyesus also informed that over 18,000 monkeypox cases have been reported to the WHO from 78 countries, out of which, more than 70 per cent of these came from the European region and 25 per cent from the Americas. 

He said that 98 per cent of the reported cases have been among men who have sex with men, stressing that stigma and discrimination can be “as dangerous as any virus and can fuel the outbreak.”

Meanwhile, while addressing a press conference, Tedros said that the Monkeypox outbreak can be stopped, if the world takes the risks seriously. More than 18,000 cases have now been reported to WHO from 78 countries, with more than 70 per cent of cases reported from Europe. 

“This is an outbreak that can be stopped, if countries, communities and individuals inform themselves, take the risks seriously, and take the steps needed to stop transmission and protect vulnerable groups,” Tedros said during a press briefing.

How does monkeypox spread? 

“There is a significant role of animals in the spread of monkeypox. Man and monkeys are both accidental hosts and wild rodents are usually seen harbouring this virus. The strain isolated from West Africa appears to be less virulent than the one from Central Africa. It’s clad 2 i.e. West African strain is spreading all over world,” said Dr Dhiren Gupta, Intensivist and Senior Consultant at Sir Gangaram Hospital. Prolonged contact with animals (monkeys, squirrels, wild rodents) or animal meat (wild animals) or close contact with infected persons. 

What are symptoms of monkeypox virus?

As per WHO, monkeypox can cause a range of signs and symptoms. The most common symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy, and swollen lymph nodes, which is followed or accompanied by the development of a rash which can last for two to three weeks. The experts informed that the rash can be found on the face, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, eyes, mouth, throat, groin, and genital and/or anal regions of the body. Symptoms typically last two to three weeks and usually go away on their own or with supportive care, such as medication for pain or fever. People remain infectious until all of the lesions have crusted over, the scabs fallen off and a new layer of skin has formed underneath.