The World Health Organization scheduled an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the recent outbreak of monkeypox, a viral infection most common in West and Central Africa, after more than 100 confirmed or suspected cases in Europe.
In what Germany has described as the largest outbreak of the disease in European history, cases have now been confirmed in at least five countries: the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Italy, as well as the United States, Canada and Australia. .
First identified in monkeys, the disease usually spreads through close contact and rarely outside Africa, which has raised concerns about the current case series.
However, scientists do not expect the outbreak to develop into a pandemic like Covid-19, as the virus is not transmitted as easily as Sars-Cov-2.
Monkeypox is a mild viral disease characterized by symptoms such as fever and a characteristic rash.
“With several confirmed cases in the UK, Spain and Portugal, this is the largest and most widespread outbreak of monkeypox ever in Europe,” said the German Armed Forces Medical Service, which detected the country’s first case on Friday.
Fabian Linderts of the Robert Koch Institute in Germany described the outbreak as an epidemic.
“Although this epidemic is unlikely to last long. Cases can be isolated well through contact tracing, and there are also effective medicines and vaccines that can be used if necessary,” he said.
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