The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported this Saturday that, as of June 8, 1,285 laboratory-confirmed cases and one probable case have been reported from 28 countries in four WHO Regions where monkeypox is not usual or previously unreported.

This represents an increase of 505 laboratory-confirmed cases since the previous report, published on June 4, 2022, when 780 cases were reported. As of June 8, 2022, no associated deaths have been reported in these four Regions.

Of the cases reported in these regions, the majority (87%) of the confirmed cases are from the WHO European Region (1,112). Confirmed cases have also been reported in the Region of the Americas (153), the Eastern Mediterranean Region (14), and the Western Pacific Region (6). The case count fluctuates as more information is reported and becomes available daily and data is verified against the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005).

To date, the clinical presentation of monkeypox cases associated with this outbreak has been variable. Many cases in this outbreak do not present with the clinical picture classically described for monkeypox (fever, swollen lymph nodes, followed by rash concentrated on the face and extremities).

Atypical features described include: presentation of only a few lesions or even a single lesion; lesions that start in the genital or perineal/perianal area and do not spread further; lesions appearing at different (asynchronous) stages of development; and the appearance of lesions before the appearance of swollen lymph nodes, fever, malaise or other symptoms. Modes of transmission during sexual contact remain unknown; While it is known that close physical contact can lead to transmission, it is not clear what role sexual body fluids play.

The sudden and unexpected appearance of monkeypox simultaneously in several regions without immediate direct travel links to areas that have long experienced monkeypox suggests that there may have been undetected transmission for several weeks or more.

The situation is evolving and WHO expects more cases of monkeypox to be identified as surveillance expands in all regions and countries. The organization assesses the global risk as moderate considering that this is the first time that many cases and clusters of monkeypox have been reported simultaneously in many countries in widely disparate WHO geographic areas.

In addition, since the beginning of the year, 1,536 suspected cases have been reported in eight countries in the WHO African Region, of which 59 cases have been confirmed and 72 deaths have been reported. The ongoing detection of the virus and reported deaths in some countries in the African Region highlight the need to better understand the source, transmission dynamics, and provide people with the information and support they need to protect themselves and others. in a variety of different contexts.

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