Monkeypox Not Likely to Turn Into A Pandemic - Says WHO


by Iqra Zafar

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Monkeypox: World Health Organization (WHO) believes that the ongoing monkeypox outbreak is not likely to turn into a global pandemic. 

Since the first case of monkeypox was reported on May 7, 2022, there has been a surge in cases. To date, there are 400 suspected and reported cases of the condition reported from different localities across the globe. According to the reports, nearly two dozen countries are affected by the condition, and monkeypox is said to be endemic there. Currently, west and central African countries are hit by the disease.

Growing monkeypox cases are raising concerns about its potential to turn into a global pandemic. Recently hit by the global COVID pandemic, the world surely isn’t ready for another pandemic. The panic after the emergence of monkeypox cases is unavoidable and the UN Health Agency has questioned the concerns on this condition.

During an epidemiological briefing addressing the spread of the monkeypox virus across the world, WHO officials say that they are not concerned about the vigorous spread of the disease around the world turning it into a global pandemic. 


WHO expert on monkeypox Rosamund Lewis stated “At the moment, we are not concerned about a global pandemic”. "If we all react quickly, and we all work together, we will be able to stop this ... before it reaches more vulnerable people," said Lewis.

The monkeypox virus is similar to smallpox which resulted in millions of deaths before it was eradicated globally. Monkeypox symptoms include a high fever, chicken-pox-like rash and lymphadenopathy. It is certainly not a gay disease as confirmed by WHO officials working on the sexually transmitted disease.

Further, it is spreading easily among people who were not vaccinated against smallpox. Smallpox vaccines are 85% effective against the monkeypox but we are short of supply at the moment. This requires a quick response to the situation to minimize its burden on global health.

WHO’s chief on epidemic and pandemic preparedness and prevention, Sylvie Briand said that there were reports on the respiratory transmission of the disease. However, she said we still remain unclear whether the spread was “mostly through droplets or could be airborne”. "There are still many unknowns," added Sylvie.