GENEVA – The number of monkeypox cases reported globally fell by 21% in the past week, reversing a month-long trend of increasing infections and a possible sign that the outbreak in Europe may start to decline, according to a report released by the World Health Organization on Thursday. .
The UN health agency reported 5,907 new cases per week, two countries, Iran and . said Indonesia, for their first cases. So far, more than 45,000 cases have been reported in 98 countries since late April.
The World Health Organization said cases in the Americas accounted for 60% of cases in the past month, while cases in Europe accounted for about 38%. She said infections in the Americas showed a “continuous sharp rise”.
The African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that the continent recorded 219 new cases last week, an increase of 54%. Most of them were in Nigeria and Congo, the agency said.
In early July, just weeks before the agency announced that the international spread of the disease was global emergencyThe director of Europe at the World Health Organization said that countries in the region are responsible for 90% of all laboratory-confirmed monkeypox cases.
British health authorities said last week after they saw a decrease in the number of new cases being reported daily Early signs The outbreak of monkeypox in the country was slowing.
The UK’s Health Security Agency downplayed the outbreak of monkeypox in the country last month, saying there was no evidence the rare disease was spreading beyond gay, bisexual or gay men.
Since monkeypox outbreaks were identified in Europe and North America in May, the World Health Organization and other health agencies have noted that its spread has been almost exclusively in men who have sex with men.
The latest WHO report said 98% of cases are among men and of those who report sexual orientation, 96% are men who have sex with men.
“Of all reported types of transmission, sexual encounter was the most common,” the WHO said. ‘The majority of cases were likely detected in a party with sexual contactagency said.
Of the monkeypox cases in which patients were known to have HIV status, 45% were infected with HIV.
The World Health Organization has recommended that men at high risk of disease temporarily consider Reducing the number of their sexual partners Or abstinence from group sex or anonymously.
Monkeypox usually requires skin-to-skin or skin-to-mouth contact with the infected patient’s lesions in order to spread. People can also become infected through contact with the clothes or bed sheets of a person with monkeypox pests.
The World Health Organization has advised countries with vaccines to prioritize immunization for those at high risk of contracting the disease, including gay and bisexual men with multiple sexual partners, and for health workers, laboratory staff and outbreak responders.
While Africa reported Most suspected deaths from monkeypox, the continent has no vaccine supply except for a very small stock being tested in a research study in Congo.
“As we know, the situation with regard to getting monkeypox vaccine is very topical, but there are not enough doses of vaccines,” said the Director-General of Nigeria’s Center for Disease Control, Evidio Aditiva, this week. More doses will likely be available, but due to challenges with manufacturing plants and an unexpected increase in monkeypox cases, the vaccine may not actually be available until 2023.”
This report was contributed by Chinedu Asado in Abuja, Nigeria.
More must-read stories from TIME