WHO confirms more than 5,000 cases of monkeypox worldwide

OMS confirma más de 5,000 casos de viruela del mono en el mundo


Photo: RAFAEL HENRIQUE/SOPA IMAGES/ZUMA/PICTURE ALLIANCE / Deutsche Welle

The World Health Organization recorded 5,322 laboratory-confirmed cases of monkeypox worldwide, an increase of more than 50% from the previous balance of June 22, and a single death, announced a spokeswoman for the organization.

“The WHO continues to ask countries to pay special attention to cases of monkeypox, to try to limit contamination,” Fadela Chaib told a news conference in Geneva.

A second meeting of the WHO emergency committee on the subject is not planned for now, after its first meeting on June 23.

The WHO had estimated last week that the current outbreak of monkeypox, although very worrying, did not constitute “a public health emergency of international scope”, the highest level of alert of the organization.

The number of cases has risen sharply in recent days. This latest balance, dated June 30, represents an increase of 55.9% compared to the previous count that, eight days earlier, registered only 3,413 cases.

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

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Since May, an unusual increase in monkeypox cases has been detected outside West and Central African countries, where the virus routinely circulates. Although most cases concern men who have sex with men, “other vulnerable groups are also at risk,” the spokeswoman said.

“There have been some cases in children and in people who have a compromised immune system,” he stressed.

Known in humans since 1970, this disease is considered much less dangerous and contagious than smallpox, eradicated in 1980. It manifests with flu-like symptoms and skin rashes, and usually heals on its own after two or three weeks.

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