OREANDA-NEWS  Amid rising cases of monkeypox across the world, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Thursday that the best way to protect against the disease is "to reduce the risk of exposure."

Although the WHO chief noted that monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease, it can still spread through any prolonged skin-to-skin contact as well as through contaminated linens and bedding. He quoted statistics which say 98 percent of cases so far are among men who had sex with men, but suggested anyone exposed can contract monkeypox.While several countries have started administering smallpox vaccines believed to be effective against monkeypox, the WHO chief has recommended a targeted vaccination approach for those exposed to someone with the disease or at higher risk, including health workers.He also pointed out that vaccines aren't immediately effective and can take several weeks to offer protection.On Saturday, the World Health Organization declared monkeypox a global health emergency. More than 18,000 cases of the disease have been reported from 78 countries, with 70% of them being from Europe and 25% from the US. Five deaths have been registered since May, and around 10 percent of those infected end up in hospital to manage the pain.