WHO Europe Launches New MPox Campaign
WHO/Europe is calling for vigilance amid concerns that spring and summertime could see mpox (monkeypox) cases flaring up once more. WHO/Europe has launched a new mpox campaign to remind people that even though it is no longer defined as a public health emergency of international concern, mpox has not gone away and anyone can be infected.
According to the latest data, at least 17 more people have contracted mpox in eight countries in the WHO European Region, in the four weeks up to 4 May 2023. While the numbers remain low, as does the risk to the broader population, it is vital that health authorities keep monitoring and responding to mpox outbreaks.
It is one year since its biggest ever mpox (monkeypox) outbreak, and the WHO European Region – covering 53 countries across Europe and central Asia – has been successful in controlling the spread of the disease as the number of cases continues to decline.
In the initial months of the outbreak, the European Region had the vast majority of cases globally. However, numbers were brought down rapidly to practically no cases being reported at all, in a relatively short time.
The new mpox campaign leverages the European Region’s year-long experience in responding to this outbreak, including growing evidence on the disease and measures to control it. The campaign will:
- Highlight what everyone can do to help control mpox and eventually stamp it out.
- Provide a platform for especially vulnerable communities, including underserved populations, to talk about their mpox-related experiences, needs and insights.
- Shine a light on the critical contribution of organizations who represent gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, trans people, sex workers and migrants.
Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, said, ‘Elimination is within our reach, but let’s not forget that mpox is still circulating, as we’ve recently seen in our region. Mpox cases could resurge this spring and summer as festivals and events – where sexual activities might occur – get under way. Some countries in the European Region are still seeing persistent, low levels of transmission. Beyond our region, localized spikes remind us that this outbreak is far from over. Let’s renew our collective efforts to ensure we remain on track towards eventual elimination – it can be done.’
A package of new WHO/Europe publications – including an mpox policy brief, a compendium of case studies and a risk communication toolkit – outlines the recommended actions that communities, health authorities and providers, and event organizers can take.