Brazil has reported more than 1,700 cases of primate attacks and one death, according to WHO statistics.
The World Health Organization assured on Tuesday that the monkeypox epidemic raging around the world is not linked to these animals, deploring that primates could have been attacked in Brazil.
“People need to know that the transmission we’re seeing now is happening between humans,” WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told a regular press briefing in Geneva.
She was being questioned about reports of attacks on monkeys in Brazil. The Brazilian news site G1 reported that a dozen were poisoned, and some injured, in less than a week in a nature reserve in Rio do Preto, in the state of Sao Paulo.
Others were stoned or chased or poisoned in different Brazilian cities, according to G1, which quotes the association for the fight against illegal wildlife trafficking Renctas. Brazil has reported more than 1,700 cases and one death, according to WHO statistics. Worldwide, more than 28,100 cases and 12 deaths have been reported.
The virus demonstrated in several species
The term “monkey pox” was used when this virus was discovered in 1958 in monkeys in a laboratory in Denmark, but the virus has been demonstrated in different animal species, especially rodents. The first human case was detected in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
This virus can be transmitted from animals to humans, but the recent explosion in cases worldwide is due to transmission between humans during close contact, said Margaret Harris.
People “definitely shouldn’t prey on animals,” she said, stressing that the best way to curb the spread of the virus was to recognize the symptoms, get help from a doctor and to take “precautions to prevent transmission”.
WHO denounces stigma
The group most affected by the epidemic are men who have sex with men. The WHO calls for not stigmatizing infected people.
“Any stigma (…) will increase transmission, because if people are afraid to say they are infected, they will not seek treatment and will not take precautions,” said Margaret Harris.
The WHO triggered its highest level of alert at the end of July in order to strengthen the fight against the disease.
The most common symptoms are fever, muscle aches, loss of energy and swollen lymph nodes, followed or accompanied by a rash.
Original article published on BFMTV.com
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