Monkeypox outbreak declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern

Most infections are found in Europe particularly in men who have sex with men.

According to World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, there have been more than 16,000 cases of monkeypox confirmed

worldwide, with five deaths reported in Africa. Although all of the deaths have happened in Africa, the majority of cases documented thus far have been identified in Europe where 12 000 probable or confirmed cases, predominantly in men who have sex with men, have been reported in the region from 13 May through 22 July 2022. The WHO Director-General has declared the escalating global monkeypox outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) thus WHO Member States, whether they have reported cases or not, must now act with urgency to anticipate, control, and stop the spread of the virus.

According to the WHO, beyond social and sexual networks of men who have sex with men, it’s clear that cases in other population groups, such as women and children, some of whom may be vulnerable to more severe disease are increasing however remain minimal. The primary mechanism of transmission is close-contact sexual activity; however, it is important to note that anyone who has close contact with someone who is infectious can catch monkeypox, regardless of their sexual orientation. Cases are also occasionally identified via household members and health workers who are infected but also in instances without any prior exposure history at all. The virus was first found in primates and mostly occurred in West and central Africa.