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WHO issues warning over monkeypox reaching high-risk groups

The World Health Organization warned that monkeypox could spread to high-risk populations, such as pregnant women and children.

It stated Wednesday that it was investigating reports of infected children. This includes two cases from the UK. Also, it is following up on reports in France and Spain.

Children have not been in severe cases.

Monkeypox has been confirmed in over 50 countries other than Africa, where the virus is endemic. There have been one confirmed death and more than 3,400 cases since May.

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According to the WHO, cases are on the rise in these countries and it is important that testing be intensified.

Tedros Adhanom, WHO director-general, stated that he is concerned about the spread of the virus. He also said that it could lead to the virus moving into high-risk populations such as children and women with compromised immune systems.

The WHO has provided extensive guidance regarding the outbreak and warned earlier this month of a “rapidly changing event” that could spread even more widely if nothing is done.

Learn more about Monkeypox

It decided that the outbreak was not yet a worldwide health emergency – the highest level of alert.

Tedros Ghebreyesus spoke out saying that he was still “deeply concerned” by the virus’s “evolving threat to health” and that he would continue to monitor it “extremely closely”.

Most cases still occur in men who have had sex with other men. It is unclear if the virus is spreading to social networks within this group or if those individuals are more likely be proactive and aware of their sexual health.

Because monkeypox is spread by close physical contact, it can spread to other areas. Therefore, there is a possibility that monkeypox will continue to spread if more cases are reported.

According to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) latest figures, there were 1,076 confirmed cases as of 28 June.

After countries such as the US and Britain suggested that they would be willing to share smallpox vaccines (which also protect against monkeypox), the WHO also stated it is developing a system to distribute vaccines more fairly.

Monkeypox is not as common as COVID, and there are treatments and vaccines available. This is in contrast to coronavirus which was discovered when it first emerged.

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