The monkeypox epidemic in brief from June 10, 2022

As of May 13, 2022, cases of monkeypox, or monkeypox, have been reported to the WHO by 28 Member States in four World Health Organization regions (Americas, Europe, Eastern Mediterranean, and Western Pacific regions) where monkeypox is not common or has not been previously reported.

While the epidemiological investigations continue, most cases reported in newly affected countries were presented by sexual health services or other health services in primary or secondary care, with a history of travel to countries in Europe and North America rather than in Countries where the virus is known to be present.
The sudden and unexpected occurrence of monkeypox simultaneously in multiple regions with no direct and immediate travel links to regions with a long history of monkeypox suggests that undetected transmission may have occurred for weeks or more.

Description of the outbreak

As of June 8, 1,285 laboratory-confirmed cases and one probable case have been reported to WHO from 28 countries in four WHO regions where monkeypox is not common or has not been previously reported. This represents an increase of 505 laboratory-confirmed cases since the last outbreak information bulletin on June 4, 2022, which reported 780 cases. As of June 8, 2022, no 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 (1112). Confirmed cases have also been reported in the Americas (153), Eastern Mediterranean (14) and Western Pacific (6). The number of cases fluctuates as new information is reported and becomes available daily and data is reviewed under the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005).

So much for the clinical presentation Monkeypox cases associated with this outbreak have varied.

  • Many cases of this outbreak do not present with the clinical picture classically described for monkeypox (fever, swollen lymph nodes, followed by a 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 don’t spread any further; Lesions occurring at different stages of development (asynchronous); and the appearance of lesions before the onset of swollen lymph nodes, fever, malaise, or other symptoms.

Modes of transmission through sexual contact remain unknown; While it is known that close physical contact can result in transmission, it is unclear what role sexual bodily fluids, including semen and vaginal fluid, play in monkeypox transmission.

Two types of vaccines (ACAM-2000 and MVA-BN) are currently being used by some Member States to serve as close contact prophylaxis. Others may hold stocks of other types of vaccines (e.g. LC16).

Additionally, since the beginning of this year, 1,536 suspected cases were 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 underscore the need to better understand the source and transmission dynamics, and to provide people with the information and support they need to protect themselves and others in a variety of different ways to protect contexts. In countries with a long history of monkeypox, more testing is needed to understand current and emerging sources of infection.

Source: World Health Organization (WHO)


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