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European festivals shouldn’t be scrapped because of monkeypox: WHO

#European #festivals #shouldnt #scrapped #monkeypox

The World Health Organization said on Friday that European summer festivals should not be canceled because of the monkeypox outbreak, but should instead manage the risk of the virus strengthening.

Outside West and Central African countries, where the disease has long been endemic, a surge in monkeypox cases has been recorded since May. Most of the new cases were in western Europe.

This year, the WHO has now reported more than 3,200 confirmed cases and one death from a total of 48 countries.

“We all have summer festivals, concerts and many other events that are just beginning in the northern hemisphere,” said Amaia Artazcoz, WHO’s technical officer for mass gatherings, in a webinar titled “Monkeypox Outbreak and Mass Gatherings: Focusing on Festivals and Parties.” protection”.

The events “may present an enabling environment for transmission,” she said.

“These gatherings are very close together and usually last for a long period of time, and there are also a lot of frequent interactions between people,” Artazcoz explained.

“Nevertheless…we do not recommend postponing or canceling events in the areas where cases of monkeypox have been identified.”

Sarah Tyler, senior communications adviser for health emergencies at WHO for Europe, said more than 800 festivals would be held in the region, bringing together hundreds of thousands of people from different countries.

“Most attendees are highly mobile and sexually active, and some of them will have intimate skin-to-skin contact at or near these events,” she said.

“Some may also have multiple sexual contacts, including new or anonymous partners. Without action, we risk a spike in monkeypox cases in Europe this summer.”

– risk awareness –

The UN health agency recommends countries identify events most likely to be linked to risk of monkeypox transmission.

WHO urged festival organizers to raise awareness through effective communication, catch cases early, stop transmission and protect those at risk.

According to the WHO, the outbreak in newly affected countries primarily affects men who have sex with men and have recently reported sex with new or multiple partners.

People with symptoms are advised to avoid gatherings, while people in communities where monkeypox has been recorded at higher rates than the general population should exercise extra caution, it said.

Normal initial symptoms of monkeypox include a high fever, swollen lymph nodes, and a blistering, chickenpox-like rash.

Meg Doherty, from WHO’s global HIV, hepatitis and sexually transmitted infection programmes, said: “We do not call this a sexually transmitted infection.

“Stigma never helps in an outbreak,” she added.

“This is not a gay disease. However, we want people to be aware of the risks.”

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#European #festivals #shouldnt #scrapped #monkeypox

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