Brussels calls for reinforced action on monkeypox management

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Cypriot EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides urged member states to step up surveillance, identification and reporting of monkeypox cases, and vaccination with clear risk communication campaigns.

CNA said Kyriakides sent a letter to EU Health Ministers in light of the WHO’s declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern for monkeypox.

She called for a reinforced, concerted and coordinated EU action to address a developing global situation where the European Union is the epicentre of detected cases.

The Commissioner underlined that solid and timely surveillance and data reporting are critical to feeding into monkeypox control strategies, with the effective contact tracing and isolation of cases and the reporting of complete national case data.

Close contacts must be identified as soon as possible, informed of their exposure, their risk of developing infection and the symptoms of monkeypox, and the need to isolate according to guidelines provided by the ECDC.

The purchase of more than 160,000 doses of Jynneos vaccines has been secured, funded by the EU budget and donated to member states.

Vaccines are already being delivered to several countries, while two joint procurement procedures are in preparation for purchasing further monkeypox vaccine doses from Bavarian Nordic and the antiviral Tecovirimat.

The Commissioner also emphasises public risk communication.

Health ministers are encouraged to intensify public risk communication with stakeholders and risk groups.

Healthcare professionals and community-based organisations must be adequately informed to continue proactively raising awareness of the potential spread of monkeypox in the community and its prevention.

Cyprus has yet to declare a monkeypox case but said it is prepared for an outbreak.