The latest spread of the monkeypox virus has prompted The World Health Organization (WHO) to convene an emergency meeting, Britain’s Telegraph newspaper reported on Friday. The disease, which is typically confined to forested areas of western and central Africa, has been spreading rapidly in a number of European countries, as well as the US and Australia since early May.
According to the report, high on the meeting’s agenda are the mechanisms behind the virus’ transmission and possible vaccination strategies. Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, is reportedly attending the discussion.
The newspaper claims that the WHO is looking at whether smallpox vaccines could be used effectively to tackle the spread of monkeypox.
Meanwhile, the UK government has already ordered additional stocks of the smallpox vaccine, which is being administered to people who may have been exposed to monkeypox, the Telegraph reported. On top of the 5,000 doses the British authorities have on hand at present, an order has been placed for 20,000 more shots, according to the report.