The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that there have been confirmed 780 cases of monkeypox in 27 countries where the virus is not endemic, and maintains that the global risk level is moderate.
The number of those 780 cases, recorded from May 13 to last Thursday, is probably underestimated due to limited epidemiological and laboratory information.
It is highly likely that other countries will identify more cases and that there will be a further spread of the virus,” says this UN health agency.
Countries where the virus is not endemic that have registered the most cases are, according to the WHO, the United Kingdom (207), Spain (156), Portugal (138), Canada (58) and Germany (57).
Apart from Europe and North America, some cases have been reported in Argentina, Australia, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates.
A single case of monkeypox in a non-endemic country is considered an outbreak.
Monkeypox is a rare disease, less severe than smallpox, that causes itching that spreads over the body, fever, chills, and aches, among other symptoms.
Although the risk to human health and the general public remains low, the risk to public health may be high if this virus manages to establish itself in non-endemic countries as a widespread human pathogen.
“WHO assesses the overall risk as moderate, considering this is the first time that monkeypox cases have been reported simultaneously in non-endemic and endemic countries.”
The endemic countries are, according to the WHO, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Gabon and Ivory Coast, in addition to Ghana, where it has been identified only in animals.