WHO Advises Against Mass Africa Monkeypox Vaccination Drive

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Monkeypox, which has been affecting developing countries for years, is currently spreading in non-endemic countries in Africa, raising concerns, according to the World Health Organization.

Eight countries in Africa have reported cases of monkeypox including Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, Cameroon and the Republic of Congo, WHO Africa director Matshidiso Moeti said Thursday in an online briefing.

Ghana and Morocco, which have not previously recorded cases of the viral disease, now have five and one confirmed cases respectively, Moeti said. Ethiopia, Guinea, Liberia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Uganda, all countries with no previous cases, have reported suspected cases.

“This is clearly an unusual situation that is affecting more and more countries,” she said. As far as the vaccine is concerned “we’re certainly not recommending mass vaccination at this stage. However, we must ensure that we are ready should the need arise.”

Next week, WHO will hold an emergency meeting to assess whether the current spread of monkeypox constitutes a public health emergency of international concern, or PHEIC.

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