WHO: Monkeypox cases drop 21%, reversing month-long increase
The number of monkeypox cases reported globally dropped 21% in the last week, reversing a month-long trend of rising infections and signaling that Europe’s outbreak may be starting to decline, the World Health Organization said Thursday.
The U.N. health agency reported 5,907 new weekly cases and said two countries, Iran and Indonesia, reported their first cases. To date, more than 45,000 monkeypox cases have been reported in 98 countries since late April.
The Americas accounted for 60% of cases in the past month, WHO said, while cases in Europe comprised about 38%. It said infections in the Americas showed “a continuing steep rise.”
At a press briefing on Thursday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said although there were indications the monkeypox outbreak was slowing in Europe, which once accounted for 90% of the world’s lab-confirmed cases, the spread of the virus was now causing concerns elsewhere.
“In Latin America in particular, insufficient awareness or public health measures are combining with a lack of access to vaccines to fan the flames of the outbreak,” Tedros said.