The WHO has said that it aimed to contain the monkeypox outbreak by stopping human transmission to the maximum extent possible, warning that the potential for further transmission in Europe and elsewhere this summer is high.

In a statement, the WHO on Tuesday added that the European Region “remained at the epicentre of the largest and most geographically widespread monkeypox outbreak ever reported outside of endemic areas in western and central Africa.”

Responding to the rise in cases of monkeypox throughout Europe over the past two weeks, WHO’s Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge outlined the steps required to rapidly investigate and control this fast-evolving situation.

The WHO European office is concerned that the recent lifting of pandemic restrictions on international travel and events could act as a catalyst for rapid transmission, the Xinhua news agency reported.

“Monkeypox has already spread against the backdrop of several mass gatherings in the region. Over the coming months, many of the dozens of festivals and large parties provide further contexts where amplification may occur,” Kluge said in the statement. “The potential for further transmission in Europe and elsewhere over the summer is high.”

He advocated for increased cross-country collaboration, information sharing, increased surveillance, and community communication to prevent misinformation from spreading online and through other channels, resulting in detrimental public health effects.

“Our goal is to contain this outbreak by stopping human-to-human transmission to the maximum extent possible,” the WHO Regional Director added, calling on efforts to increase awareness of monkeypox and share information on how people can reduce their risk of exposure.

He claims that the extensive measures employed to battle COVID-19 aren’t necessary to combat monkeypox in Europe because the virus doesn’t spread like COVID-19.

On Tuesday, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said the country has recorded 190 confirmed monkeypox cases since May 7.

According to UKHSA, the risk to the UK population remains low, but the agency “is asking people to be alert to any new rashes or lesions, which would appear like spots, ulcers or blisters, on any part of their body”.


The above article has been published from a wire agency with minimal modifications to the headline and text.