By Laura Kemp • 22 May 2022 • 12:22
Both Switzerland and Israel have said that they have identified one person infected with monkeypox who had recently travelled, however, Israel has said it was investigating other suspected cases.
Over 80 cases have been confirmed in the recent outbreak in Europe, Canada, the US and Australia.
Monkeypox is most commonly found in remote areas of Central and West Africa, the BBC reports.
Scientists have been surprised by the outbreak, however, the risk to the wider public is low because monkeypox does not tend to spread easily among people.
According to the NHS, the illness is usually mild and the majority of people recover within a few weeks.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that 50 suspected cases are currently being investigated – the names of the countries have not been released – and warned that it is likely that more infections will be confirmed.
US President Joe Biden said that if the virus were to spread more widely it would be “consequential” and that “it is something that everybody should be concerned about”.
He said the US was “working hard” on its response and what vaccines it might use.
Following the first identified case in the UK, the virus was then detected across Europe with public health agencies in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Italy and Sweden all confirming cases.
The UK Health Security Agency has identified 20 cases so far and its chief medical adviser Dr Susan Hopkins said on the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme: “We are detecting more cases on a daily basis.”
Although there is no specific vaccine for monkeypox, several countries have said they are stocking up on vaccines against smallpox, which are around 85 per cent effective in preventing infection because the two viruses are quite similar.
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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