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Monkeypox now reported in 8 countries in Europe, says WHO

At least eight countries in the World Health Organization European Region have reported cases of monkeypox in recent days, while Australia, Canada, and the US have also reported similar cases, the WHO said Friday.

The European countries that in recent days reported monkeypox – a rare viral infection that can be spread from person to person and is caused by the monkeypox virus – are Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.

"These recent cases are atypical for several reasons," said Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe.

"In this instance, all but one of the recent cases have no relevant travel history to areas where monkeypox is endemic, in West Africa or Central Africa," he said.

Kluge also said that most of the initial cases found were detected through sexual health services and are among men who had sex with men.

"Because of the geographically dispersed nature of the cases across Europe and beyond, the transmission may have been ongoing for some time," he said.

Kluge said WHO is working with concerned countries to investigate cases further, determine the likely source of infection, how the virus is spreading, and limit further transmission.

"We are also providing guidance and support on surveillance, testing, infection prevention and control, clinical management, risk communication, and community engagement, as well as facilitating information sharing across countries and health networks," said Kluge.


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