Despite drop in new Monkeypox cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued warning that people should not let their guard down even if cases are not reported as the in the global monkeypox outbreak has already topped 70,000.
In 2023, the UN health organisation received reports of more than 70,000 illnesses and 26 fatalities, according to WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
As it emphasised that a worldwide decrease in new cases could be the “most dangerous” phase in the outbreak, the WHO reported that case numbers increased last week in some countries in the Americas.
“Globally, cases are continuing to decline, but 21 countries in the past week reported an increase in cases, mostly in the Americas, which accounted for almost 90 percent of all cases reported last week,” Ghebreyesus told a press conference in Geneva.
According to him, a declining outbreak can be the most dangerous since it may entice people to believe that the crisis is over and to ease up on our vigilance. He said that the WHO was assisting nations in boosting their testing capability and keeping an eye on trends.
The WHO is concerned about reports of cases in Sudan, notably in refugee camps close to the Ethiopian border, the director said. Monkeypox continues to be a public health emergency of global significance, similar to COVID-19, and will continue to be handled as such by WHO, he added.
Currently, the Americas have recorded more than 42,000 cases while Europe has reported around 25,000. Since early May, there has been an increase in monkeypox infections among males who have sex with men outside of the African nations where it has long been endemic. In 2023, 107 WHO member states have recorded instances; however, 39 of those governments have not reported any new cases in the last 21 days.
The 10 countries with the highest total number of cases are: the United States (26,723); Brazil (8,147); Spain (7,209); France (4,043); Britain (3,654); Germany (3,640); Peru (2,587); Colombia (2,453); Mexico (1,968); and Canada (1,400). These countries account for nearly 87% of global cases.