The Ministry of Health is today reporting 5,535 community cases, 720 current hospitalisations and 14 deaths.
The seven-day rolling average of community cases today is 8,563. Last Sunday it was 9,803.
All 14 deaths reported today occurred in the past four days. They take the total number of publicly reported deaths with Covid-19 to 1,990. The seven-day rolling average of reported deaths is 24.
Of the deaths reported, three were from the Auckland region, three were from Waikato, four were from Hawke’s Bay, one was from Taranaki, one was from MidCentral, one was from Wellington region, and one was from Southern.
Six were in their 80s and eight were aged over 90. Eleven were women and three were men.
Monkeypox spreads via close contact and tends to cause flu-like symptoms and pus-filled skin lesions. At the moment the outbreak is concentrated among men who have sex with men, especially those with multiple sexual partners.
“Stigma and discrimination can be as dangerous as any virus,” said Tedros during his remarks today.
Jimmy Whitworth, emeritus professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, welcomed the declaration, noting that the continued global spread of monkeypox indicates existing health measures have not been sufficient to control it.
The outbreak is concerning to medical professionals due to the difficulty of preventing onward transmission of infection, but Whitworth said “it is not a situation that should unduly worry the general public”.
“This is an infection that is transmitted by close contact – touching skin, coughing and sneezing, sharing of utensils, bedding and so on,” he said, adding that as most people, whatever their sexual orientation, do not have close contact of this sort with many people, “the infection is unlikely to spread easily”.
“It is to be hoped that the increased attention to this disease leads to more focus on control within Africa… where the number of cases has been increasing for the past 20 years,” Whitworth said.