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WHO: European Festivals Should Not be Scrapped Due to Monkeypox

WHO: European Festivals Should Not be Scrapped Due to Monkeypox

Saturday, 25 June, 2022 - 16:30
A festivalgoer walks through ribbons at Latitude Festival at Henham Park, Britain, July 22, 2021. REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

The World Health Organization said Friday that European summer festivals should not be cancelled due to the monkeypox outbreak but should instead manage the risk of amplifying the virus.


A surge of monkeypox cases has been detected since May outside of the West and Central African countries where the disease has long been endemic. Most of the new cases have been in Western Europe.


More than 3,200 confirmed cases and one death have now been reported to the WHO from 48 countries in total this year.


"We have all the summer festivals, concerts and many other events just starting in the northern hemisphere," Amaia Artazcoz, the WHO's mass gatherings technical officer, told a webinar entitled "Monkeypox outbreak and mass gatherings: Protecting yourself at festivals and parties".


The events "may represent a conducive environment for transmission", AFP quoted her as saying.


"These gatherings have really close proximity and usually for a prolonged period of time, and also a lot of frequent interactions among people," Artazcoz explained.


"Nevertheless... we are not recommending postponing or cancelling any of the events in the areas where monkeypox cases have been identified."


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