Monkeypox cases are rising globally, raising concerns of a bigger outbreak. A disease tracker shows there are 772 confirmed cases globally so far — and an additional 50 suspected cases — as of Thursday (7pm, June 2, 2022).
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that more than 30 countries where monkeypox is not “endemic” have reported outbreaks of the viral disease, with hundreds of new confirmed or suspected infections.
Thursday’s numbers, as tracked by a Dutch agency, show a big jump from 667 reported monkeypox cases on Wednesday (June 1), including 610 laboratory-confirmed cases, according to the tracking site.
In the last 3 days, from May 30 to June 1, 2022 there were hundreds of new monkeypox cases reported.
Last 24 hours
Portugal reported a total of 138 confirmed cases on Thursday, while Spain added 34 more confirmed cases, bringing the national total to 156.
Also on Thursday, the UK reported the highest number, with 207 confirmed cases so far (from 190 on Wednesday), based on an update from the Health Security Agency (UKHSA).
Countries with confirmed monkeypox virus infection cases (as of Thursday, June 2, 7pm UAE time):
- UK: 207
- Spain: 156
- Portugal: 138
- Canada: 54
- Germany: 43
- Netherlands: 40
- France: 33
- Italy: 20
- US: 19
- Belgium: 14
- UAE: 8
- Ireland: 6
- Chech Republic: 5
- Switzerland: 4
- Sweden: 5
- Denmark: 3
- Slovenia: 2
- Australia: 2
- Argentina: 2
- Israel: 2
- Norway: 1
- Morroco: 1
- Hungary: 1
- Finland: 1
- Austria: 1
- Mexico: 1
- Malta: 1
- Gibraltar: 1
Source: BNO, The Netherlands
Seven (7) other countries reported suspected monkeypox infections, while awaiting lab confirmation (as of Thursday June 2):
> Vaccines for smallpox are being offered to close contacts of diagnosed cases of monkeypox.
> So far, 196 cases have been identified in the UK. The UK Health Security Agency said that 86 per cent of England’s cases were London residents and only two were women.
> The World Health Organisation said the monkeypox may have been spreading for “months, or possibly a couple of years” prior to April, when the latest outbreak was first detected outside the endemic counties in Africa.
> The WHO's foremost expert in monkeypox stated said she doesn't expect monkeypox to become another pandemic.
> Dr. Rosamund Lewis, however, acknowledged there are still many “unknowns about the disease” — including how exactly it's spreading.
> Another unknown: Whether the suspension of mass smallpox immunisation decades ago may somehow be speeding its transmission. Dr. Lewis urged that those at risk to be careful.
At the moment, we are not concerned about a global pandemic. We are concerned that individuals may acquire this infection through high-risk exposure if they don't have the information they need to protect themselves.
> Other experts have cited previous studies that monkeypox is airborne.
> No fatalities have been reported with the outbreak outside Africa.
> In five African countries, where monkeypox is endemic, WHO indicated reports of 1,365 cases and 69 deaths from December through May.
> The WHO believes there is a “window” of opportunity to control the cases.
> The global health body emphasized that "it is not the same as COVID-19”, and the risk to the general public is low.
> “We don’t want people to panic or be afraid and think that it’s like COVID or maybe worse,” said Dr. Sylvie Briand, M.D., the WHO’s director of epidemic and pandemic preparedness and prevention. “This monkeypox disease is not COVID-19, it is a different virus.”
> The WHO also reported that “the vast majority of reported cases so far have no established travel links to an endemic area and have presented through primary care or sexual health services."
> Monkeypox symptoms are similar to those seen in smallpox patients, although typically less severe. It is transmitted from person to person via close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated items such as bedding.
(With inputs from Reuters, AFP)