Monkey pox: more than 5,000 confirmed cases worldwide

Monkey pox: over 5000 confirmed cases worldwide


GENEVA | The WHO now lists 5,322 laboratory-confirmed cases of monkeypox worldwide, an increase of more than 50% compared to the previous report of June 22, for a single death, announced Tuesday a spokesperson for the WHO. organization. 

“The WHO continues to ask countries to pay particular attention to cases of monkeypox, to try to limit contamination,” said Fadela Chaib during the a press conference in Geneva.

A second meeting of the WHO emergency committee on the subject, after its first meeting on June 23, is not currently scheduled.

The health agency had estimated the week past that the current outbreak of monkeypox cases, although very worrying, did not constitute “a public health emergency of international concern”, the organization's highest level of alert.

The number of cases has increased sharply in recent days: this latest assessment, dated June 30, represents an increase of 55.9% compared to the previous count, which listed 3,413 cases eight days earlier.

Europe remains by far the region most affected by the virus with 85% of cases, while 53 countries are now affected.

An unusual upsurge in cases of monkeypox has been detected since May in outside the countries of Central and West Africa where the virus usually circulates.

While the majority of the cases recorded concern men who have sex with men, “other vulnerable groups are also at risk,” the spokesperson said.

“There have been a few cases in children (and) in people who have a compromised immune system.”

Known in humans since 1970, monkeypox is considered much less dangerous and contagious than its cousin, smallpox, eradicated in 1980.

Monkeypox, which manifests as flu-like symptoms and rashes, usually heals on its own after two to three weeks.