Monkeypox likely to cause more deaths: WHO

Amid four deaths due to monkeypox outside Africa, including India, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said that the infectious disease is likely to lead to more fatalities.

“With the continued spread of monkeypox, we will expect to see more deaths,” Catherine Smallwood, Senior Emergency Officer at WHO Europe, said in a statement.

Smallwood emphasised that the goal needs to be “interrupting transmission quickly and stopping this outbreak”.

However, Smallwood stressed that in most cases the disease heals itself without the need for treatment.

The latest monkeypox outbreak which was first reported in May, has since spread to 78 countries with more than 18,000 cases, according to the WHO’s last update on July 28.

At the time, five monkeypox-related deaths were reported from Africa.

Last week, two deaths were reported from Spain and one each from Brazil and India.

A 22-year-old youth, from Kerala died on Saturday reportedly due to monkeypox.

According to media reports, he returned to the state on July 21 from the UAE and was admitted to a private hospital on July 27 after developing encephalitis and fever. His lymph nodes were also swollen.

India has so far reported four confirmed monkeypox cases, three of them in Kerala, and one in Delhi.

Meanwhile, the patient who had the first reported case, also from Kerala, was discharged from hospital on Saturday.

“Time for us all to act,” Smallwood said earlier on Twitter, adding that people “who are most likely to be exposed to #monkeypox need to act to reduce their exposures”.

She also stressed the need to make “testing, healthcare & vaccination easy & quick”. “Cannot let #Covid19 fatigue hold us back!”

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