Geneva, Aug 17 (EFE) .- Monkeypox infections increased by 20% last week, adding 7,500 new cases and following the same upward trend as the previous week, the World Health Organization reported on Wednesday ( WHO). The accumulated cases exceed 35,000 and the disease – which until a few months ago was seen only in endemic regions of Africa – is now present in 92 countries and has caused a total of twelve deaths since the current outbreak was declared. Monkeypox is circulating almost exclusively in Europe and the Americas, and almost all cases continue to be in men who have sex with men, but WHO experts have warned of the importance of protecting everyone living from the virus. in the same home as the patient. The WHO said that it has also been informed of the case of a dog that contracted monkeypox, the first known transmission from human to animal. He pointed out that it is not of an “unexpected” situation because pets live in a closed environment and are close to the infected person, like the rest of the family members. The director of WHO Health Emergencies, Mike Ryan, considered that the risk in this situation is not It is not about a single infected animal, but about the possibility that the virus could settle in a new species and could evolve in it, which could change the way it acts or the immune response it provokes. “We must not allow For the virus to establish itself in another animal population, all precautions must be taken,” said the specialist at a press conference. In the same appearance, the WHO expert on monkeypox, Rosamund Lewis, emphasized that there are several ways to protect yourself in the family environment: isolating the sick person, maintaining good hygiene and handling waste carefully. The vaccine is another option, but currently demand far exceeds supply, which for now is largely in the hands of the Danish pharmaceutical company Bavarian Nordic, which has already closed agreements for the sale of a good part of its production to the United States. Read moreThe director general of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, acknowledged that there is concern in the organization due to the risk of a new situation of unequal access to vaccines, in which the poorest would be left out, as happened during the covid-19 pandemic. The WHO is in contact with Bavarian Nordic, with which it discusses options such as technology transfer or authorizing other laboratories to produce its vaccine, the exclusivity of which is protected by patents. The vaccine, however, “is not a magical solution” to the monkeypox outbreak because there are still no conclusive data on its effectiveness, which is known to be incomplete and closer to 85%, Lewis said. This would explain why some cases of reinfection have been seen even among vaccinated people. llo, the expert recalled that prevention also consists of reducing the number of sexual partners and avoiding group sex, as well as sporadic couples. (c) Agencia EFE
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