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WHO indicated that to date more than a hundred cases have been detected in eight countries in Europe, as well as in Australia, the United States and Canada.
The World Health Organization (WHO) convened on Thursday an emergency meeting with experts and health ministers from different nations to address the recent outbreak of monkeypox, which so far has mainly hit Europe.
The World Health Organization detailed that so far more than 100 cases have been detected in at least eight countries of that continent, such as Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
In addition, there are infections in the United States and Canada, all countries where this pathology is not common, since monkeypox has manifested itself mainly in tropical rainforest areas of Central and West Africa.
Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO's Health Emergencies Program, will chair the meeting, which will mainly address issues such as how this new outbreak of the virus is spreading; its high level of infection in homosexual and bisexual men; and also issues related to vaccination.
However, WHO spokesman, Tarik Jasarevic, explained that the disease can affect anyone and does not manifest itself in a particular group of people; "the virus can attack everyone, it is a mistake to single out anyone", the official remarked.
The meeting will analyze whether the smallpox immunogen manufactured by Bavarian Nordic, known as Jynneos in the United States and Imvanex in the United Kingdom, could be used in contacts of people who have been infected.
This vaccine is only approved in the United Kingdom for protection against smallpox, but in the event of a possible emergency, it is estimated that it could be used "unlicensed" to protect against monkeypox.
In this regard, data provided by experts show that the vaccine reduces a person's risk of disease by 85 percent, either for the non-replicating smallpox virus or monkeypox.
In addition, if an individual is immunized within four days of infection, the vaccine can modify the course of the infection and improve the prognosis, as part of a condition whose symptoms include fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes.
Regarding the mode of transmission, health teams have been deployed worldwide to isolate and locate infected persons; and it is estimated that the virus can be spread by sexual contact similar to syphilis, since open wounds in and around the genitals are infectious; and skin-to-skin contact allows the virus to spread.
International media reported that the monkeypox virus caused 300 million deaths in the 20th century.