WHO outlines five preventive measures to stop human-to-human monkeypox transmission

The World Health Organisation in its latest readout expressed grave concern over rising cases of monkeypox. With over 780 monkeypox cases being detected in 27 countries, the world health body has decided to take action on priority so that the spread of the virus can be stopped.

During an interaction, WHO official Maria Van Kerkhove said, we have to raise awareness of what monkeypox is, and what it isn’t. And we have to increase surveillance.

Here are the five proven actions the WHO is taking to stop the spread of the virus.

1. Raise awarness and testing regimen

2. Stop human to human transmission

3. Protect frontline workers

4. Utilise countermeasures

5. Accelerate research

We want to stop human-to-human transmission. We can do this in non-endemic countries. And this is very critical as we are in a situation where we can use public health tools for early identification; isolation of cases, supported isolation cases, talking with communities and listening to communities, and engaging with communities to be a part of the solution, she said.

What is Monkeypox?

A zoonosis disease, which is transmitted from animals to humans, monkeypox is an orthopoxvirus that causes a disease with symptoms similar, but less severe, to smallpox. According to World Health Organization (WHO), while smallpox was eradicated in 1980, monkeypox continues to occur in countries of Central and West Africa.

Maria Van Kerkhove also added, we also want to protect frontline workers. Anyone who is out there taking samples for testing or to take care of individuals want to ensure that they have the right information and that they have the right personal protection equipment and we want to utilize all the countermeasures that are in place.

How is it transmitted?

On its website, WHO states that cases are often found “close to tropical rainforests where there are animals that carry the virus”. Evidence of monkeypox virus infection has been found in animals including squirrels, Gambian poached rats, dormice, different species of monkeys and others, it reads.

How is India faring?

Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad district has reported first suspected case of Monkeypox on Saturday. As per media reports, the government sources have said that the sample has been sent for testing, but it’s unnecessary panic mongering. As of now, no cases of Monkeypox have been reported in India.

(With inputs from health)