(CTN News) – The World Health Organization said the monkeypox virus has spread to more than 20 countries, urging countries to increase surveillance of the infection as outbreaks grow.
Approximately 200 confirmed cases and over 100 suspected cases of monkeypox have been detected outside of countries where it usually circulates, according to Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s Covid-19 technical lead. As surveillance expands, she said more cases of the rare viral infection will likely be reported, however, the recent outbreak is contained.
“We expect to find more cases. During a Q&A on the global health agency’s social media platforms, Van Kerkhove asked countries to increase surveillance. “This is a containable situation,” he said. The situation in non-endemic countries will be difficult, but it is manageable,” she said.
Monkeypox has spread to North America and Europe in recent weeks,
The monkeypox virus has spread to North America and Europe in the past few weeks, causing outbreaks outside of Central and West Africa where the disease has circulated at low levels for the past four decades. Most patients recover in a few weeks after contracting a milder strain of the virus. So far, no deaths have been reported.
A total of 118 cases of monkeypox have been reported in the European Union, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Portugal and Spain have reported the most cases, 51 and 37, respectively, among EU countries. According to the UK Health Security Agency, 90 cases of the virus have been confirmed there.
CDC has identified nine monkeypox cases in North America across seven states. Health officials in Canada confirmed 16 cases of monkeypox, all detected in Quebec.
Symptoms of Monkeypox
Fever, headache, muscle aches, backaches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and tiredness are among the initial symptoms, according to UKHSA. The rash may appear later, usually starting on the face and spreading to other parts of the body. The rash typically progresses through many stages before forming a scab, which eventually peels off.