The World Health Organization has issued an unusual call for Brazilians to stop killing monkeys, fearing they are the main vector of monkeypox.
“What people need to know is that the transmission we’re seeing is happening between humans,” WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said in Geneva.
The appeal comes after reports of physical attacks on monkeys in Brazil, where 10 monkeys were poisoned in the city of Rio Preto and others were found in various states of torture. Harris reiterated that primates are not responsible for the rise in cases, which are spreading from human to human.
Around ten deaths and 28,100 cases have been certified outside West and Central Africa, which classifies the virus as endemic, according to the WHO. Brazil has recorded more than 1,700 cases and one death. WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said 98% of monkeypox cases have been reported in men who have sex with men.
The WHO blamed the name of the disease as the main reason for the abuse against monkeys, citing a number of other animals and rodents that carry the infection. “The concern should be where he [is circulating] in the human population and what humans can do to protect themselves from catching it and passing it on,” Harris said. “People certainly shouldn’t attack animals.”
On Tuesday, the United States Food and Drug Administration issued emergency use authorization for the Jynneous vaccine and how it is administered in a bid to vaccinate more people amid supply chain shortages. The group says the vaccine should be administered intradermally, or between layers of skin, rather than subcutaneously, or directly under the skin. The methodology change is expected to increase the number of doses from one vial to five from one. The group says all high-risk adults should be vaccinated. Only those under 18 should receive the vaccine by the traditional subcutaneous route.