88% of diagnosed cases linked to the current outbreak in non-endemic countries occur in Europe
Monkeypox cases linked to the current outbreak in non-endemic countries now number 78088% of them diagnosed in Europe, indicated today the latest situation report on this disease published by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Laboratories have confirmed
this pathogen in 27 countries outside the endemic regions of West and Central Africa,
the United Kingdom being the country with the most infections (207), followed by Spain (156)Portugal (138), Canada (58) and Germany (57).
More than a dozen cases have also been registered in the US, Belgium, France, Italy and the Netherlands, as well as
two infections in Argentina and one in Mexicoaccording to data received by WHO from national health networks.
In view of the increase in confirmed cases, which have tripled in a week, the Geneva-based organization maintains the global risk of this outbreak at a "moderate" level.as this is the first time that transmission has been recorded in non-endemic countries and also with so many foci and so widely spread.
Most of the cases have been detected in sexual health consultations and other primary and secondary care points"and involve primarily, but not exclusively, men who have sex with men," the follow-up report reiterated.
Sequencing of the virus in many laboratories in affected countries indicates that the outbreak is linked to variants of West African monkeypox.in principle with less lethality than those of the central part of the continent.
So far this year, 1,408 suspected cases of monkeypox and 66 deaths have been recorded in endemic countriesmostly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo but also with more than a dozen infections in Cameroon, the Central African Republic and Nigeria.
The cases of the outbreak in non-endemic countries are mostly linked to people who have traveled through European countries or the Americas, with a few infections possibly linked to travel from Nigeria.
No deaths have been reported in connection with the outbreak in non-endemic nationsbut some hospitalizations in some cases related to complications derived from other infections of the patient.
Many patients have initially shown skin rashes in the genital and anal areas, which seems to suggest that the main route of transmission in several cases has been sexual contact.although the WHO insists that it can be spread by close physical contact not necessarily linked to sexual acts.
The WHO concludes in today's report that
it is "highly likely" that cases and countries in which they are diagnosed will increasealthough it states that the risk to the general population remains low.
However, that risk "could increase if the virus seizes the opportunity to establish itself in non-endemic countries as a widespread pathogen," the document warned.
The organization stresses that
health professionals must adopt the main prevention measures for now, since they are the ones who are most at risk of becoming infected if they do not take the necessary control measures or do not wear the appropriate personal protection equipment.
ANDn patients with HIV, there may be a risk of developing severe forms of the disease if they do not continue treatment with antiretrovirals or have a weakened immune system, indicates the WHO, who also warns that pregnant women who contract the disease could bring complications to the fetus.
The WHO emphasizes that as in covid, massive events can be transmission vectors, so, although it does not advise cancellations of this type of event, it does recommend informing attendees of the possible risksas well as adopt prevention measures taken during the pandemic such as physical distancing, covering coughs or hand hygiene.
The international organization maintains its refusal of any travel and movement restrictions to contain the outbreak, although it asks that surveillance measures be maintained for people who develop symptoms and that their possible recent contacts be traced.