The World Health Organization on Tuesday reported that the monkeypox outbreak, while “not normal,” is still “containable.”
“We encourage you all to increase the surveillance of monkeypox to see where transmission levels are and understand where it is going,” said Sylvie Briand, WHO director for global infectious hazard preparedness.
The organization said that 19 countries where the rare viral disease is not endemic have reported a total of 131 confirmed cases and 106 suspected cases. The majority of the cases have been reported in Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom.
It added that it is unclear whether the spike in cases was the “tip of the iceberg” or not.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday said that it expects more monkeypox cases. The first U.S. case of 2022 was reported last week in Massachusetts.
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“Many of these global reports of monkeypox cases are occurring within sexual networks,” Inger Damon of the CDC said in a statement. “However, healthcare providers should be alert to any rash that has features typical of monkeypox. We’re asking the public to contact their healthcare provider if they have a new rash and are concerned about monkeypox.”
CDC officials on Monday warned that anyone can get monkeypox but added that a “notable fraction of cases” are occuring among gay and bisexual men.
According to WHO, monkeypox is “transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding.” Symptoms include rash, headache, fever, muscle and body aches, swollen lymph nodes and back pain.