(ORDO NEWS) — More than 50,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported in the global outbreak, WHO data showed on Wednesday, although the spread of the virus is slowing in hotspots in Europe and the US.
The World Health Organization dashboard lists 50,496 cases and 16 deaths reported this year by the UN agency that declared the outbreak a global public health emergency in July.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the decline in new infections proves the outbreak can be stopped.
“In the Americas, which account for more than half of reported cases, the number of infections continues to rise in several countries, although the steady downward trend in Canada is encouraging,” he said at a press conference.
“Some European countries, including Germany and the Netherlands, are also seeing a clear slowdown in the rate of the outbreak, demonstrating the effectiveness of public health interventions and community engagement to track infections and prevent transmission.”
“These signs confirm what we’ve been saying all the time from the beginning: with the right measures, this outbreak can be stopped.”
Since the beginning of May, there has been a sharp increase in the number of cases of monkeypox among men who have sex with men outside of African countries, where it has long been endemic.
On July 24, the WHO declared the highest level of alert, classifying it as a public health emergency of international concern along with COVID-19.
“It takes three things to eliminate monkeypox: the evidence that we are now starting to see that it is possible; political will and commitment; and the implementation of public health measures in the communities that need them most,” Tedros said.
“We don’t have to live with monkeypox.”
Cases have been reported from 101 territories, although only 52 countries have reported new cases in the last seven days – of these, 27 reported single figures.
Countries that have reported a total of over 1,000 cases to WHO include the United States (17 994), Spain (6 543), Brazil (4 693), France (3 547), Germany (3 467), United Kingdom (3 413 ), Peru (1,463), Canada (1,228) and the Netherlands (1,160).
According to health authorities, the rate of spread of infections has slowed down somewhat recently.
Meanwhile, the head of the WHO European office said on Tuesday that he sees “reassuring” signs that the outbreak on the continent is slowing down and moving “in the right direction.”
The disease causes fever, muscle pain, and large boil-like skin lesions.
Nigeria reported four deaths to WHO, Ghana three, Spain and the Central African Republic two, and Brazil, Belgium, Ecuador, India and Cuba reported one death.
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