WHO holds emergency meeting on monkeypox

May 23, 2022 7:00 am

The virus has spread across Europe and to the United States and Australia. [Photo Credit: ABC News]

The World Health Organization (WHO) is holding an emergency meeting to discuss the recent outbreak of monkeypox.

A viral infection more commonly seen in the west and central Africa, after more than 100 cases have been confirmed or suspected in Europe.

In what Germany described as the largest outbreak in Europe ever, monkeypox cases have been reported in at least nine countries — Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom — as well as the United States, Canada and Australia.

Article continues after advertisement

Spain reported 24 new cases on Friday, mainly in the Madrid region, where the regional government closed a sauna linked to the majority of infections.

A hospital in Israel was treating a man in his 30s who is displaying symptoms consistent with the disease after recently arriving from Western Europe.

First identified in monkeys, the disease typically spreads through close contact and has rarely spread outside Africa, so this series of cases has triggered concern.

However, scientists do not expect the outbreak to evolve into a pandemic like COVID-19, given the virus does not spread as easily as SARS-CoV-2.