Warning over seasonal Mpox threat

Mpox remains a threat to Europe, the World Health Organization has warned.

WHO has recently declared the disease, formerly known as monkey pox, as no longer being a global emergency – but its European office warned yesterday of the threat of the virus spreading over the spring and summer.

It launched a new campaign to coincide with yesterday’s International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia – ahead of the spring and summer season of festivals and Pride events.

WHO reported 17 cases of infection over the last four weeks in eight countries.

WHO regional director Dr Hans Henri Kluge said: “Elimination is within our reach, but let’s not forget that mpox is still circulating, as we’ve recently seen in our region. Mpox cases could resurge this spring and summer as festivals and events – where sexual activities might occur – get under way. Some countries in the European Region are still seeing persistent, low levels of transmission.

“Beyond our region, localised spikes remind us that this outbreak is far from over. Let’s renew our collective efforts to ensure we remain on track towards eventual elimination – it can be done.”

Dr Kluge added: “As we celebrate diversity and inclusion on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, as well as Pride just around the corner, let’s also remind ourselves that we still have a long way to go to stamp out shame and stigma related to sexual health.

“It’s critical that we normalise talking about seemingly sensitive or uncomfortable topics in the interest of our health and well-being. Let’s not allow our success in controlling mpox over the past year be overshadowed by another wave of infections this spring and summer.”

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