WHO Urges People Not To Slaughter Monkeys Amid Monkeypox Outbreak

(YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
Font Size:

The World Health Organization (WHO) urged people not to kill monkeys after reports circulated that multiple primates were attacked in Brazil due to fear of monkeypox earlier in August.

WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said people aren’t frequently catching the virus from monkeys themselves, so people shouldn’t attack them, according to the Associated Press. The announcement followed reports that up to 10 monkeys had been poisoned in Brazil in less than a week, with similar incidents reported in other cities across the country.

“People have to know that the transmission we see now is among humans,” Harris said at a press conference in Geneva. “People certainly should not attack the animals.”

There are more than 1,700 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Brazil, according to the WHO, and at least one death from the virus. The country has a history of monkeys being attacked during prior outbreaks of yellow fever, according to the AP. (RELATED: One-In-Five Gay Men Who Got Monkeypox Had Sex With 10 Or More People Before Getting Infected, CDC Says)

More than 31,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported across 90 different countries, according to the WHO. The organization declared monkeypox to be a public health emergency in July. The virus can be transmitted from animals to humans, but the current outbreak is being driven by human-to-human transmission, with infections particularly concentrated among men who have sex with other men.