London: As of May 13 and as of June 2, a total of 780 laboratory-confirmed cases of monkeypox have been reported or identified in 27 countries in four WHO regions that are not endemic to monkeypox virus, according to the World Health Organization.
The UN health agency said that while epidemiological investigations are ongoing, most of the reported cases to date have been submitted through sexual health or other health services in primary or secondary health care facilities and primarily, but not exclusively, involve men who have sex with men (MSM). Although the West African clade of the virus has so far been identified from case samples, most confirmed cases with travel history reported travel to countries in Europe and North America, rather than to West or Central Africa where the monkeypox virus is endemic.
The confirmation of monkeypox in individuals who have not traveled to an endemic area is atypical, and even one case of monkeypox in a non-endemic country is considered an outbreak.
While most cases are not associated with travel from endemic areas, member states are also reporting small numbers of cases from travelers from Nigeria, as previously observed, it said on Sunday.
Endemic countries with monkeypox include Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana (identified in animals only), Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, the Republic of the Congo, and Sierra Leone. Benin and South Sudan have documented imports in the past. Countries currently reporting cases of the West African clade include Cameroon and Nigeria, the WHO said.