How big is the risk of monkeypox in Kazakhstan

The country's Ministry of Health has commented on the situation with the disease

According to Ms. Ayzhan Esmagambetova, vice minister of health, Kazakhstan is a country with a low risk of a monkeypox epidemic.

Last week the World Health Organization (WHO) called the outbreak of monkeypox a global emergency. As the WHO’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, the decision is based on the sharp growth in reported cases of the disease all over the world. So far, there were 16,000 cases reported in 47 countries. The Ministry of Health has revealed its forecast for Kazakhstan.

“As the WHO’s executive said, every country has its own risk of the infection spreading. European countries are in the area of high risk of an outbreak. All other countries are at moderate or low risk of an infection outbreak. Kazakhstan is ranked as a country under low risk of an outbreak of monkeypox,” the official said.

She also touched on the issue of vaccination against the disease.

“All people in our country born before 1980 got their vaccines against smallpox. The viruses of smallpox and monkeypox are very similar. According to scientists, those who have got a vaccine against smallpox are also protected against monkeypox,” Esmagambetova stated.

As the vice minister of health noted, the government doesn’t plan to launch a vaccination campaign against monkeypox. However, according to WHO recommendations, people who are in close contact with a person sick with monkeypox, such as health workers, must be vaccinated against the disease.

In June, the ministry said that it prepared PCR tests to diagnose monkeypox. As Esmagambetova noted, the test will be applied if someone shows clinical symptoms of the disease like high temperature, rash and relevant epidemiological anamnesis. So far, there is not even a single case of monkeypox in Kazakhstan.

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