According to the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the current monkeypox epidemic in Europe is “not a public health emergency” at this moment.
According to Marco Cavaleri, the EMA’s head of biological health hazards and vaccines strategy, the risk of the general population catching the disease is low, and no major increase in cases is expected, even if an increase is forecast.
“The priority should be on identifying, monitoring, and managing new cases (of monkeypox),” Cavaleri said, according to Xinhua.
The monkeypox outbreak is “unique,” according to Cavaleri, because of the wide geographic distribution, but “most patients had moderate symptoms and recovered without therapy.”
The EMA is acting out of precaution to ensure options for prevention and treatment if needed, he said.
On Wednesday, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said thirty non-endemic countries have reported more than 550 confirmed cases of monkeypox.
“Investigations are ongoing, but the sudden appearance of monkeypox in many countries at the same time suggests there may have been undetected transmission for some time,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told journalists at WHO’s Geneva headquarters.
With most reported cases having been among sexual encounters between men, those communities are working to inform their members of risks and preventative action that can be taken.
“But all of us must work hard to fight stigma, which is not just wrong, it could also prevent infected individuals from seeking care, making it harder to stop transmission,” warned the WHO chief, urging affected countries to widen their surveillance to the broader community.