Around 200 confirmed cases and more than 100 suspected cases of monkeypox have been detected so far outside countries where it usually spreads, a World Health Organization official said on Thursday, urging countries to step up surveillance of infectious disease.
Monkeypox, a mild viral infection, is endemic in the African countries of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nigeria.
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The recent outbreak in non-endemic countries has raised concerns. The strain circulating globally is thought to have a mortality rate of around 1%, although effective vaccines and treatments are available.
Speaking in an online briefing, WHO senior epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove said cases had so far been detected in more than 20 non-endemic countries, adding that the agency s expected the numbers to increase.
“We expect more cases to be detected. We are asking countries to increase surveillance… This is a manageable situation. It will be difficult, but it is a manageable situation in non-endemic countries. »
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