The World Health Organization said on Sunday that the sudden appearance of monkeypox in several countries where the disease is usually undetected at once suggests undetected transmission for some time and recent amplification events.
As of May 26, a total of 257 confirmed cases and 120 suspected cases have been reported in 23 member states that are not endemic for the virus, the WHO said in a statement.
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The agency added that it expects more cases to be reported as surveillance in endemic and non-endemic countries expands.
Monkeypox is a generally mild infectious disease endemic to parts of West and Central Africa. It spreads through close contact, so it can be contained relatively easily through measures such as self-isolation and hygiene.
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Most of the cases reported so far have been detected in the UK, Spain and Portugal.
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“The vast majority of cases reported so far have no established travel link to an endemic area and have presented through primary care or sexual health services,” the UN agency said. United.
(Reporting by Ann Maria Shibu in Bengaluru; Editing by Daniel Wallis)