WHERE: Calls on countries to increase surveillance for monkey pox


About 200 confirmed cases and more than 100 suspected cases of monkey pox have been identified so far outside the countries where it usually spreads, a World Health Organization official said today, calling on countries to be vigilant about the infectious disease.

Monkey pox, a mild viral infection, is endemic to the African countries of Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria.

The recent outbreak in non-endemic countries has raised concerns. Worldwide, the strain is believed to have a mortality rate of about 1%, although effective vaccines and treatments are available.

Speaking during an online briefing, WHO senior epidemiologist Maria Van Kerchove noted that cases have been identified in more than 20 non-endemic countries so far, adding that the agency expects the numbers to increase.

“We expect more cases to be identified. We are asking countries for increased monitoring … This is a situation that can be reduced. It will be difficult, but it is a situation that can be limited to non-endemic countries,” he said.

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