GENEVA – The number of monkeypox cases reported globally fell by 21% last week, reversing a month-long upward trend and a sign of a month-long rise, according to a World Health Organization report released on Thursday. The likelihood that the outbreak in Europe may begin to decline, according to a World Health Organization report released on Thursday. .
The United Nations health agency reported 5,907 new cases weekly and said two countries, Iran and Indonesia, reported their first cases. To date, more than 45,000 cases have been reported in 98 countries since the end of April.
According to WHO, cases in the Americas accounted for 60% of the past month, while cases in Europe accounted for about 38%. It said infections in the Americas show “a continued increase.”
The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday the continent had 219 new cases reported in the past week, a 54% increase. The agency says most are in Nigeria and Congo.
In early July, just weeks before the agency declared the international spread of the disease to be global emergencyWHO Regional Director for Europe said countries in the region are responsible for 90% of all laboratory-confirmed monkeypox cases.
British health authorities said last week after seeing a drop in the number of daily reported new cases that there are “First Sign” The country’s monkeypox epidemic is slowing.
The UK’s Health Security Agency downgraded the monkeypox outbreak in the country last month, saying there was no evidence the rare disease had ever spread beyond gay men. bisexual or having sex with other men.
Since monkeypox outbreaks in Europe and North America were identified in May, WHO and other health authorities have noted that the spread of the disease has almost exclusively occurred among men. have same-sex relationships.
Monkey smallpox has been endemic to parts of Africa for decades, and experts suspect the outbreaks in Europe and North America were triggered after the outbreak began. sexually transmitted at two protests in Spain and Belgium.
The latest WHO report says 98% of cases are in men, and of those who report sexual orientation, 96% are in men who have sex with men.
“Of all the types of transmission reported, sexual contact was the most commonly reported,” the WHO said. “Most of the cases are likely exposed in a party with sexThe agency said.
Of the monkeypox cases where the patient’s HIV status was known, 45% were HIV-infected.
WHO has recommended that men at high risk of the disease should temporarily consider reduce their number of sexual partners or limit group sex or anonymity.
Monkeypox usually requires skin-to-skin or skin-to-mouth contact with the lesions of an infected patient to spread. People can also become infected by contact with the clothing or bed sheets of someone with monkeypox.
WHO has recommended that vaccine countries prioritize immunization of people at high risk for the disease, including gay and bisexual men with multiple sexual partners, and for health care workers, prevention workers, and others. experimenters and outbreak responders.
While Africa reported In the most suspected cases of monkeypox deaths, the continent has no supply of the vaccine other than a very small amount being tested in a study in Congo.
“As we all know, the situation with access to monkeypox vaccine is very topical, but there are not enough doses of the vaccine,” Director-General of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control Ifeddayo Adetifa said this week. Potentially, more doses will be available, but due to challenges with manufacturing plants and the sudden increase in monkeypox cases, the vaccine may not actually be available until. year 2023″.
Chinedu Asadu in Abuja, Nigeria, contributed reporting.
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