ON WEDNESDAY, the WHO announced that hundreds of monkeypox outbreaks have surfaced beyond the African countries where the infection is typically found; the infection has likely been unraveling under the radar.
“Investigations are ongoing, but the sudden appearance of monkeypox in many countries at the same time suggests there may have been undetected transmission for some time,” World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned reporters.
The UN health agency’s top monkeypox expert Rosamund Lewis said that the arrival of so many cases across much of Europe and other countries where it has not been detected before “is a cause for concern, and it does suggest undetected transmission for a while.”
“We don’t know if it is weeks, months or possibly a couple for years,” she confessed, adding that “we don’t know if it is too late to contain.”
Most of the cases have been revealed among men who have intercourse with men, although experts say that there is no indication that monkeypox is carried sexually.
“Anyone can be infected with monkeypox if they have close physical contact with someone else who is infected,” Tedros let out.
He instructed everyone to help “fight stigma, which is not just wrong, it could also prevent infected individuals from seeking care, making it harder to stop transmission.”
He said that The WHO was also “urging affected countries to widen their surveillance.”