Director of the ministry’s Zoonotic Diseases Management Behzad Amiri says the best way forward to prevent the spread of monkeypox is general health measures, especially quick identification of cases and tracing and isolating all the people who had contact with the patient.
Amiri says the World Health Organization currently advises against mass vaccination against the disease, adding that the WHO guidelines only deem inoculation necessary for health workers with a high risk of contact with the poxvirus, at the present stage.
“This has also been emphasized by our national committee that the necessary steps for limited purchase of monkeypox vaccines should be taken only when it is necessary,” he says.
Amiri also talked about the upcoming Arbaeen march, which is expected to draws millions of pilgrims to Iraq, stressing that monitoring stations are being planned at the border crossings to both instruct pilgrims on the required health protocols and to identify and test suspected cases.
The new surge in monkeypox began when the poxvirus spread in the UK in May 2022.
The source of the spread is still unclear.