FACT CHECK: Did The WHO Recommend Halting Clothing Shipments Due To Monkeypox?
An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows a World Health Organization (WHO) letter calling for a temporary freeze on clothing imports and exports due to monkeypox.
The letter is inauthentic, according to the WHO. No such recommendation or announcement has been made by the organization.
The monkeypox virus is currently spreading across the globe and has been identified in at least 26 countries, according to NBC News. People can contract the virus through direct contact with scabs, bodily fluids or contaminated clothing material, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Facebook post appears to feature a June 8 letter signed by WHO Integrated Health Services Director Rudi Eggers, calling for a “temporary ban in import/export of garments and items of clothing” outside of Europe, the U.S. and Asia.
“We recommend that all donated and relief distribution clothing items sourced from this location within the last 72 hours be destroyed to avoid possibility of transmission,” the letter concludes. (RELATED: Did CTV News Publish This Article Claiming 95 Percent Of Monkeypox Cases In Canada Are Actually Shingles?)
The letter is inauthentic. The WHO’s verified Kenya Twitter account addressed the letter in a June 8 tweet, calling it “fake.”
There’s a fake letter in circulation on various platforms about #Monkeypox . #Ignore it.
Here’s all the legit info on #Monkeypox from @WHOhttps://t.co/pnsqnidv0f pic.twitter.com/Br31TfZcsm
— WHO Kenya (@WHOKenya) June 8, 2022
None of the WHO’s social media posts or genuine press releases make such a recommendation. There are likewise no credible news reports about the WHO making such a suggestion.
This is not the first time misinformation regarding monkeypox has spread online. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim suggesting the Food and Drug Administration had approved a monkeypox vaccine produced by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer.