The World Health Organization (WHO) announced 5,322 laboratory-confirmed cases of monkeypox from 53 countries, both endemic and non-endemic, on Tuesday. “We have 5,322 laboratory-confirmed cases and one fatality from January 1 to June 30 this year,” WHO spokesperson Fadela Chaib told reporters.
Of these, “85 per cent are in Europe, followed by the African region, the Americas, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Pacific”, she added.
Despite the fact that the number of cases is rapidly increasing, the WHO has not declared the virus a global health emergency. It described the virus as “unique and alarming,” as well as a “developing threat.”
“The WHO continues to ask countries to pay particular attention to monkeypox cases to try to stop further infections,” Chaib said.
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has stated that the monkeypox cases are being followed “very closely” and that if the situation worsens, he would “reconvene the conference promptly.” However, the World Health Organization has yet to call a second conference.
The majority of current confirmed monkeypox cases are male, and the bulk of these cases are among homosexual, bisexual, and other males who have sex with men in metropolitan places and have concentrated social and sexual networks.
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According to the WHO, there have been few hospitalizations and one fatality in an immunocompromised individual.
The WHO has lately raised alarm that the outbreak has expanded to vulnerable people including as children, pregnant women, and others with weakened immune systems. Infections were reported in youngsters under the age of 18 in Spain and France, while two cases were discovered in the United Kingdom since May.
While the virus did manifest earlier in children, this reportedly is the first in the recent outbreak. The increasing trend of infections, majorly seen among men who have sex with men “is likely to continue”, said Ghebreyesus.
“We are starting to see this with several children already infected.
“I am concerned about sustained transmission because it would suggest that the virus is establishing itself and it could move into high-risk groups including children, the immunocompromised and pregnant women,” Ghebreyesus said.