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EUR | May 20, 2022

WHO concerned monkeypox could spread in Europe as people party over summer

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An electron microscopic (EM) image shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virus particles as well as crescents and spherical particles of immature virions, obtained from a clinical human skin sample associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak in this undated image obtained by Reuters on May 18, 2022. (Photo: Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery/CDC/Handout via REUTERS)

LONDON (Reuters)

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) European chief said on Friday (May 20) he is concerned that the spread of monkeypox could accelerate in the region as people gather for parties and festivals over the summer months.

“As we enter the summer season in the European region, with mass gatherings, festivals and parties, I am concerned that transmission could accelerate, as the cases currently being detected are among those engaging in sexual activity, and the symptoms are unfamiliar to many,” WHO regional director for Europe Hans Kluge said in a statement.

Kluge’s remarks come just moments after the WHO called an emergency meeting to discuss potential risks with the monkeypox virus, which has since been detected in several European and African countries as well as the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and Australia.

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