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Monkeypox news – latest: WHO holding daily meetings amid Europe’s largest outbreak


<p>Monkeypox continues to spread across the globe</p>

Monkeypox continues to spread across the globe

(Brian W J Mahyvia/CDC/Reuters)

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said it is holding daily monkeypox meetings as the virus continues to spread worldwide.

A spokesperson for the organisation told The Independent it is convening “a number of meetings related to monkeypox on a daily basis” involving experts from affected countries, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and technical advisory groups.

This includes a meeting on Friday involving the WHO Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on Infectious Hazards with Pandemic and Endemic Potential (STAG IH).

The spokesperson said monkeypox had been a priority pathogen for WHO for many years.

Public health chiefs are urgently appealing to consultant virologists to volunteer to help in “rapidly scaling up” the UK’s response to the monkeypox outbreak, which has now infected at least 20 people in Britain – more than double Thursday’s tally.

Volunteers would join a rota acting as a point of contact for clinical advice about the disease, and to call clinicians about positive results.

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Monkeypox outbreak in Europe ‘largest ever’ in region as cases cross 100

More than 100 cases of monkeypox have been reported in Europe, with German officials describing the outbreak as the largest ever in the region.

Cases have now been confirmed in countries including the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, France, the United States and Australia.

First identified in monkeys, the disease typically spreads through close contact and has rarely spread outside Africa, so this series of cases has triggered concern.

“With several confirmed cases in the United Kingdom, Spain and Portugal, this is the largest and most widespread outbreak of monkeypox ever seen in Europe,” said Germany’s armed forces’ medical service, which detected its first case in the country today.

Fabian Leendertz, from the Robert Koch Institute, described the outbreak as an epidemic.

“However it is very unlikely that this epidemic will last long,” he said. “The cases can be well isolated via contact tracing and there are also drugs and effective vaccines that can be used if necessary.”

Chiara Giordano20 May 2022 15:01

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Australia reports first monkeypox case in man returning from Britain

Australia has detected its first monkeypox infection and officials are monitoring a second suspected case, as the country joined a growing list reporting outbreaks of the disease.

Health authorities in the country’s southeast Victoria state confirmed the infection on Friday in a 30-year-old man who reached Melbourne from Britain.

Shweta Sharma has the full story:

Chiara Giordano20 May 2022 14:49

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WHO holding daily meetings as virus spreads

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is holding daily meetings as the virus continues to spread worldwide.

A spokesperson for the organisation told The Independent it is convening “a number of meetings related to monkeypox on a daily basis” involving experts from affected countries, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and technical advisory groups.

This includes a meeting with the WHO Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on Infectious Hazards with Pandemic and Endemic Potential (STAG IH), which is being held today.

The spokesperson said monkeypox had been a priority pathogen for WHO for many years.

Chiara Giordano20 May 2022 14:34

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Spain and Portugal record 23 new cases with more suspected

Health authorities in Portugal and Spain on Friday reported respectively nine and 14 new confirmed cases, bringing the total number in each country above 20, the outbreak’s highest tallies so far.

Twenty-three confirmed cases have now been identified in total in Portugal, while 21 cases have been reported in Spain.

Another 21 suspected cases are under investigation in Spain, 19 in the Madrid region, one in the Canary Islands and one in Andalusia, the health authority said.

Jane Dalton20 May 2022 14:02

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Appeal for virologists to help

Public health officials have sent out an “urgent” call to consultant virologists for volunteers to help the “rapidly scaling up” monkeypox response, The Independent has learnt. Rebecca Thomas reports:

Jane Dalton20 May 2022 13:43

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Portugal cases rise to 23

Portugal has reported nine new confirmed monkeypox cases, bringing the total to 23.

Chiara Giordano20 May 2022 13:10

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Opinion: Our toxic relationship with animals is sleepwalking us into disaster

Julia Baines, a science policy manager for animal rights charity PETA, has said we risk triggering another global pandemic “if we continue to use and abuse animals”.

In this piece for Indy Voices, she writes: “When will we learn? Now that monkeypox has been detected in Canada, Portugal, Spain, the UK, and the US, we should accept that our toxic relationship with animals is sleepwalking us into disaster.”

Chiara Giordano20 May 2022 13:00

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11 new cases confirmed in UK as outbreak spreads

Eleven more cases of monkeypox have been found in the UK, health chiefs say, bringing the total to 20.

The World Health Organisation has reportedly called an emergency meeting after the tally more than doubled.

Jane Dalton has the full story:

Chiara Giordano20 May 2022 12:48

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Africa contained monkey pox outbreaks during Covid pandemic when world’s attention was elsewhere, says health chief

Several outbreaks of monkey pox in Africa have been contained during the Covid-19 pandemic while the world’s attention was elsewhere – but outbreaks in Europe and the United States are a concern, Africa’s top public health agency has said.

The disease, which spreads through close contact and was first found in monkeys, mostly occurs in west and central Africa and only rarely spreads elsewhere.

The acting director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said that since 2020 outbreaks had been seen and contained in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Cameroon and Central African Republic.

“During this pandemic, we have had several outbreaks of monkey pox on the continent … We also expect that other outbreaks will come and we’ll handle it in the usual way,” Ahmed Ogwell Ouma told a weekly news briefing.

“We are however concerned at the multiple countries outside, especially in Europe, that are seeing these outbreaks of monkey pox. It would be very useful for knowledge to be shared regarding what the source of these outbreaks actually are,” he said.

“We are in close contact with our counterparts at the European CDC to try and understand where that did come from because when you see monkey pox in environments that are far away from a forested area then for sure as far as public health is concerned it raises a lot of questions.”

Chiara Giordano20 May 2022 12:45

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Monkeypox spreads in Europe as Sweden, Italy, France and Belgium confirm first cases

Monkeypox infections have spread to at least seven European countries as Sweden, France, Belgium and Italy have become the latest to announce their first cases of the viral infection.

The new cases mean increasing global transmission of the disease, with infections having emerged in the US and even Australia.

My colleague Shweta Sharma has more details:

Chiara Giordano20 May 2022 12:35



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