World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge said on Friday he feared the spread of monkeypox could accelerate in the region over the holidays. and festivals in the summer months.
“As we enter the summer season in the European region, with mass gatherings, festivals and celebrations, I fear transmission will accelerate,” Hans Kluge said in a statement.
While at least eight European countries have identified patients, the official considered that the extent of transmission is “atypical”, stressing that “all but one of the recent cases had not traveled to areas where smallpox monkey is endemic”.
On Friday, the United Kingdom announced that it had registered eleven new cases of the virus, bringing the number of people infected in the country to 20. France, Belgium and Germany have also reported their first cases.
According to the medical officer of the British Health Security Agency (UKHSA), Susan Hopkins, “this increase is expected to continue in the coming days”.
Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills and fatigue. Rashes can occur, often on the face, and spread to other parts of the body including the genitals, before going through different phases, crusting over and falling off.
There is no cure for monkeypox, which is spread by contact with an infected person or their body fluids. This viral infection heals itself.