The World Health Organization (WHO) has said it has no concerns at this time that the spread of monkeypox virus beyond endemic countries could trigger a global pandemic.
“At the moment, we are not concerned about a global pandemic,” said WHO’s leading monkeypox expert, Rosamund Lewis, saying that “it is still possible to stop this epidemic before it does not extend”.
Since Britain first reported a confirmed case of monkeypox on May 7, nearly 400 cases have been reported to the WHO in nearly 20 countries usually unaffected by the virus.
The WHO said it was concerned about this “unusual situation”, but reiterated that there was no reason to panic.
Monkeypox is related to smallpox, which killed millions of people worldwide each year before being eradicated in 1980.
But monkeypox is much less severe, and most people recover in three to four weeks.
Early symptoms include high fever, swollen lymph nodes, and a chickenpox-like rash.
On Sunday, the WHO said that “the sudden appearance of monkeypox all at once in several countries where the disease is not usually present suggests long-undetected transmission and recent amplification events “.
According to the UN World Health Agency, the identification of confirmed and suspected cases of monkeypox not directly linked to an endemic area is atypical.