WHO Speaks Out Against Imposing Travel Ban Due to Monkeypox Outbreak
14:42 GMT 27.05.2022 (Updated: 14:43 GMT 27.05.2022)
© AFP 2022 / CHARLES BOUESSELMedical staff wear protective equipments before entering the quarantine area of the centre of the International medical NGO Doctors Without Borders (Medecins sans frontieres - MSF), in Zomea Kaka, in the Lobaya region, in the Central African Republic on October 18, 2018.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The World Health Organisation (WHO) does not recommend countries to impose travel restrictions due to monkeypox outbreak, the organisation's infectious hazards management chief said on Friday.
"We don’t recommend travel bans or restrictions and we need to continue to communicate about what we know, what is being done," Sylvie Briand said during a briefing.
According to Briand, countries need to respond adequately to the spread of monkeypox, primarily by tracking contacts of those infected and isolating them.
Head of Smallpox Secretariat at the WHO Rosamund Lewis, in turn, said that the WHO does not consider mass vaccination as a necessary measure to cope with the outbreak of monkeypox.
"There is no need for mass vaccination. There is no need for large immunization campaigns. This is a condition that is transmitted primarily by close physical contact, skin to skin contact, face to face contact and therefore, contact tracing, investigation and isolation remain the primary modes of control for the time being," Lewis said.
The UK Health Security Agency was the first health authority outside Africa to publicly report a case of monkeypox on 7 May in a patient who had recently traveled to Nigeria. Since then, an outbreak of monkeypox has also been confirmed in some countries of Europe and North America. As of Thursday, the WHO has registered about 200 monkeypox cases in over 20 countries across the globe, with another 100 cases being investigated.
Monkeypox is a rare viral disease that is usually transmitted to people from wild animals and is endemic in some African countries. The disease can be transmitted through body fluids, respiratory droplets and other contaminated materials. The disease usually results in fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes.