Monkeypox spreads to 12 countries as WHO investigates why the viral disease is showing up in unexpected places. Another 50 suspected cases are being probed by the World Health Organization and cautioned that additional instances are likely to be reported.
Nine European countries, as well as the United States, Canada, and Australia, have verified infections.
Monkeypox is particularly widespread in Central and West Africa’s rural areas.
According to the National Health Service of the United Kingdom, it is an uncommon viral infection that is usually mild and lasts only a few weeks.
The virus is difficult to spread between humans, and the risk to the general public is considered low.
There is no specific vaccine for monkeypox, but because the two viruses are so similar, a smallpox vaccination provides 85 percent protection.
The new outbreaks “are uncommon, as they are occurring in non-endemic countries,” the WHO said in a statement on Friday.
“Working with affected countries and others to expand disease surveillance to discover and support people who may be afflicted,” it stated.
The WHO also cautioned against stigmatizing individuals or groups as a result of the sickness.
“It can be a barrier to ending an outbreak as it may prevent people from seeking care, and lead to undetected spread,” it said.
“As we enter the summer season… with mass gatherings, festivals, and parties, I am concerned that transmission could accelerate,” WHO Europe regional director Hans Kluge warned.
On May 7, the first case of the disease was reported in the United Kingdom. According to the UK Health Security Agency, the patient had just traveled to Nigeria, where they are believed to have contracted the illness before arriving in England.
According to Health Secretary Sajid Javid, there are now 20 confirmed cases in the UK.