WHO: Monkeypox Outbreak Unlikely to Lead to Pandemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) said Monday that the monkeypox outbreak outside Africa is unlikely to lead to a pandemic.

WHO Health Emergencies Program, Technical Lead for Monkeypox, Rosamund Lewis, said she did not think the monkeypox outbreak had the potential to grow into a pandemic.

“At the moment, we are not concerned about a global pandemic,” Lewis said.

In May, Europe recorded more than 300 suspected and confirmed monkeypox cases.

WHO said it was considering if the monkeypox outbreak is a “potential public health emergency of international concern” or PHEIC, but there is still limited information on the symptomatic spread of the virus.

“We really don’t actually yet know whether there’s an asymptomatic transmission of monkeypox – the indications in the past have been that this is not a major feature – but this remains to be determined,” Lewis said.

While scientists are investigating the unusual upsurge of cases outside Africa, public health authorities suspect there is some degree of community transmission.

Some countries have begun offering vaccines to close contacts with confirmed cases.

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