The guidelines state that people who have monkeypox or who think they may have it “should avoid contact with other people until their lesions have healed and the scales have dried”.
The World Health Organization has said it is unlikely that an outbreak of monkeypox will turn into a pandemic, but has warned that action must be taken quickly to stop its spread.
Nearly two dozen countries have reported a total of 257 confirmed cases and about 120 suspected monkeypox cases, the World Health Organization said on Sunday. In Britain, which has the highest number of reported cases of monkeypox in the world, according to the World Health Organization, health authorities have proposed new measures for health care workers and the general public.
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Most of the confirmed cases have been identified in gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, and that the risk to the broader population is “low,” Rosamund Lewis, the WHO’s technical lead on monkeypox, said in a briefing on Monday.
“This group of people [men who have sex with men] They are the people most affected by cases at the moment, and the idea is to stop the spread of the disease visibly so it doesn’t affect the general population.” “Having said that, anyone could be at risk.”
Lewis said “the world has a chance to stop this outbreak” by identifying confirmed or probable cases, isolating them and tracing their close contacts, and monitoring those who have been exposed to the virus, who do not need to stay at home under WHO guidelines if they are not showing symptoms.
“At the moment, we are not concerned about a global pandemic,” she added. “We are concerned that individuals may contract this infection at high risk if they do not have the information they need to protect themselves.”
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The British government’s new guidance is designed in part to help those with or at risk of the disease, as well as being a summary of what is known and not known about the virus. The document states that most infections have so far occurred through close and direct contact.
The guidelines state that people with monkeypox can isolate at home, as long as they are monitored by local health authorities. Their close contacts do not have to quarantine if they are asymptomatic but will be monitored and may be asked to “isolate for 21 days if necessary”.
The study says that people with confirmed or suspected monkeypox should “abstain from sex during symptom onset, including during the early onset of symptoms, and while lesions are present.”
He adds that “there is currently no available evidence of monkeypox in genital secretions” but recommends “as a precaution” that those who have had monkeypox use condoms for 8 weeks after infection, noting that guidelines could change.
Britain’s Health Security Agency, one of the departments behind the directive, has begun introducing a smallpox vaccine, a new version of which has been approved in the United States for use against monkeypox, for close contact with confirmed cases “to reduce the risk of symptomatic infection and severe illness”.
Studies show that the smallpox vaccine is at least 85 percent effective against monkeypox, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The United States stopped vaccinating people against smallpox – which was universally eradicated in 1980 – as a matter of routine in the 1970s.
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The World Health Organization has not recommended universal vaccination against monkeypox, although it says countries may want to vaccinate close contacts after exposure to the virus or health care workers who may be exposed to it in the future.
At Monday’s briefing, WHO’s Lewis said it “would be unfortunate to allow ‘monkeypox’ to establish itself as … an infection capable of human-to-human transmission, exploiting the immunity gap left by smallpox 40 years ago.”
“So the World Health Organization is very keen, given the history of smallpox eradication, to stop this outbreak as quickly as possible,” she said.