The World Health Organization is convening a group of leading experts for an emergency meeting about the ongoing monkeypox outbreak, according to the Telegraph.
The meeting comes as 12 countries have reported recent cases, with the CDC confirming at least one in the United States.
“I’m sure that ultimately this will be the largest outbreak of monkeypox that we’ve had outside of the endemic areas in Africa,” Daniel Bausch, infectious disease expert and president of the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene told Axios.
That said, Bausch doesn’t think there’s cause for concern just yet.
“I don’t think there’s a reason for panic. I don’t think we’re going to have tens of thousands of cases.”
Prof Anne Rimoin, professor of epidemiology at the UCLA and a world renowned monkeypox expert, told the Telegraph that vaccinating close contacts of confirmed cases, also known as ring vaccination, is a good option for health officials.
She added that the public should not, at this stage, be too concerned.
“For your average person I would not be overly alarmed. If you have a rash, contact your health provider, a rash that is unusual or looks like monkeypox,” she said.
“If you think you’ve been exposed to somebody who has monkeypox that has this kind of a rash I would I would identify yourself and talk to your healthcare provider.”
On May 7th, the very first case in the western world in 2022 was confirmed in the United Kingdom.
Less than two weeks later and there are now dozens of confirmed and suspected cases in twelve different countries.
The confirmed case in Massachusetts involves a man that had recently traveled to Canada, and so it was suspected that there were additional cases among the Canadians.
Meanwhile, a case has been confirmed all the way up in Sweden…
“One person in the Stockholm region has been confirmed to be infected with monkeypox,” Sweden’s Public Health Agency said in a statement.
The infected person ‘is not seriously ill, but has been given care,’ according to the agency.
And it appears that there could be multiple cases in Italy…
Italy’s patient was holidaying in the Canary Islands and is now in isolation at the Spallanzani hospital in Rome, the hospital said.
“Another two other suspected cases are being monitored,” it added.
The first case of monkeypox in Australia has been confirmed in the state of Victoria from a man in his 30s who recently returned from the United Kingdom.
“There are few close contacts that have been identified, obviously the GP is one of them,” Victoria Chief Health Officer (CHO) Brett Sutton told reporters on Friday, referring to the general practitioner who referred the man for testing.
A case of monkeypox has been confirmed in Munich, Germany. Bavaria’s Health Minister Klaus Holetschek pointed this out on Friday. The patient comes from Brazil and is already isolated in the Munich Clinic Schwabing.
A first case of infection with monkeypox was detected in France on Thursday in Île-de-France, announced this Friday the Directorate General of Health.
“As soon as his infection was suspected, this person was taken care of. In the absence of seriousness, he is isolated at his home”, specifies the ministry.
The patient is a young man of 29 with no history of travel to a country where the virus is circulating.
There may be some cases of the monkeypox virus in the Netherlands, RIVM reports Friday. Samples are currently being examined in a lab. The result of this is not yet known.