According to a World Health Organization study released on Thursday, the number of monkeypox cases reported globally decreased by 21% in the previous week, reversing a month-long pattern of rising infections and possibly signalling that Europe’s significant outbreak is beginning to diminish.
However, the United Nations health agency cautioned that infections in the Americas indicated “a continued high climb.” According to the WHO, cases in the Americas made up 60% of cases in the past month, while cases in Europe made up roughly 38%.
The organisation stated that 5,907 new cases were recorded per week globally and that two nations—Iran and Indonesia—reported their first instances. Since late April, 98 different nations have received reports of more than 45,000 cases.
According to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 219 new cases reported throughout the continent in the previous week, an increase of 54%. According to the CIA, the majority were in Congo and Nigeria.
Early in July, just a few weeks before the organisation deemed the spread of the illness to be a worldwide emergency, the WHO’s head for Europe stated that 90% of all lab-confirmed cases of monkeypox originated from nations in that region.
Following a drop in the daily number of newly reported cases, British health officials declared last week that there were “early signals” that the monkeypox outbreak in the nation was declining.
The monkeypox outbreak in Britain was downgraded last month by the Health Security Agency because there was no proof that the once-rare disease was spreading beyond men who were gay, bisexual, or had intercourse with other men.
Since May, when outbreaks of monkeypox were discovered in Europe and North America, the WHO and other health organisations have reported that this disease spread almost entirely among men who have intercourse with other men.
Experts believe the outbreaks in Europe and North America were initiated when the disease started spreading through sexual contact at two raves in Spain and Belgium. Monkeypox has been widespread in areas of Africa for decades.
According to the most recent WHO study, 98% of instances are in men, and 96% of those who stated their sexual orientation were men who had sex with other men.
The WHO stated that, “of all documented methods of transmission, a sexual contact was recorded most frequently.” The majority of cases were probably discovered at a party where there were sexual encounters.
In cases of monkeypox where patients’ HIV status was known, 45% of cases had HIV.
Men at high risk for the disease are advised by the WHO to briefly think about lowering their number of sexual partners or to abstain from group or anonymous sex.
Skin-to-skin or skin-to-mouth contact with lesions on an infected patient is often necessary for the spread of monkeypox. Another way to contract the disease is by coming into contact with someone who has lesions from the monkeypox on their clothes or bed linens.
Authorities in the U.S. and Europe have all started restricting doses to stretch supply by up to five times due to the restricted vaccine supplies available globally.
The WHO has encouraged nations that have vaccinations to prioritise immunisation for people who are most at risk of contracting the illness, including as homosexual and bisexual males who have multiple sex partners, as well as for medical professionals, lab workers, and those who are involved in outbreak response.
Despite having the highest number of probable monkeypox deaths, Africa has no vaccine supplies, with the exception of a very tiny stock that is being evaluated in a research project in Congo.
Ifedayo Adetifa, director-general of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, stated last week: “As we know, the issue with monkeypox vaccine availability is very topical, yet there are not enough doses of vaccinations.”