scorecardSummer festivals could speed up the spread of monkeypox, warns WHO Europe chief
  1. Home
  2. international
  3. news
  4. Summer festivals could speed up the spread of monkeypox, warns WHO Europe chief

Summer festivals could speed up the spread of monkeypox, warns WHO Europe chief

Mia Jankowicz   

Summer festivals could speed up the spread of monkeypox, warns WHO Europe chief
LifeInternational2 min read
Roskilde Festival in 2012 in Roskilde, Denmark    Rob Ball/WireImage via Getty Images
  • WHO's Europe chief warned that summer festivals could speed up monkeypox spread.
  • Hans Kluge said on Friday, "I am concerned transmission could accelerate" there.

The World Health Organization (WHO)'s Europe director has expressed concern that summer activities such as festivals could accelerate the spread of a recent monkeypox outbreak.

Dr Hans Kluge said in a statement Friday that with the summer onset of "mass gatherings, festivals and parties, I am concerned that transmission could accelerate."

"The cases currently being detected are among those engaging in sexual activity," he added.

The CDC also noted on Wednesday that many cases in the current outbreak "are occurring within sexual networks."

Monkeypox is endemic in central and west Africa, where it is usually transmitted via scratches or bites from wild animals — but is highly unusual in regions without those animal populations, including Europe and the US, as Insider previously reported.

The emergence of cases in 11 countries outside of these regions has sparked concern among scientists trying to understand the sudden spread, as Insider's Dr. Catherine Schuster-Bruce reported.

Those countries are the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden, per Kluge's statement.

World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge during a meeting with Russia
WHO regional director for Europe Hans Kluge has expressed worry over the spread of monkeypox at European festivals.      Alexander Astafyev/TASS via Getty Images

"Let me emphasize that most of the cases currently under investigation in Europe are so far mild," said Kluge. He urged healthcare workers to use many of the same hygiene measures put in place for the treatment of COVID-19.

As the symptoms of monkeypox are "unfamiliar to many," Kluge also urged people to report any unusual rash to their doctor. You can read more about monkeypox symptoms, transmission and prevention here.

Unlike COVID-19, monkeypox is rarely spread among humans. Human transmission usually happens via large respiratory droplets passed on through close physical contact; or via contaminated clothing or bedding.

But with the relaxation of many COVID-19 measures across Europe, many crowded summer festivities are set to be restaged at full capacity in 2022, as Deutsche Welle reported — providing what may be the ideal hedonistic conditions for the virus to pass on.

These include the Roskilde rock festival in Denmark, Glastonbury Festival in England, Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, and Germany's Rock am Ring, per DW.

READ MORE ARTICLES ON




Advertisement