Israel and Switzerland are the most recent countries to confirm monkeypox cases, increasing the total number of countries reporting outbreaks to 14.
Both governments claimed they had discovered one affected individual who had recently travelled, but Israel said it was looking into further possible instances.
In the latest epidemic in Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia, more than 80 cases have been confirmed.
Monkeypox is mainly prevalent in rural areas of Central and West Africa.
This outbreak has caught experts off guard, but monkeypox does not pass easily between humans, and the risk to the general population is thought to be low.
According to the UK’s National Health Service, the sickness is typically minor and most patients recover in a few weeks.
Another 50 suspected cases are being examined, according to the World Health Organization, without specifying the nations involved, and more illnesses are expected to be confirmed.
When asked about the epidemic after returning from a visit to South Korea, US President Joe Biden said it would be “consequential” if the virus expanded further, adding that “it is something that everybody should be concerned about.”
He stated that the United States was “working hard” on its response and what vaccinations it would utilise.
After the virus was discovered in the UK, it spread across Europe, with public health organisations in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Italy, and Sweden all confirming cases.
The UK Health Security Agency has discovered 20 instances so far, and Dr Susan Hopkins, the agency’s top medical adviser, told the BBC’s Sunday Morning show, “We are discovering additional cases on a regular basis.”
Although no particular vaccination exists for monkeypox, numerous governments have said that they are stockpiling smallpox vaccines, which are around 85 percent effective in preventing illness since the two viruses are so similar.
The WHO stated in a statement on Friday that the latest outbreaks were exceptional in that they occurred in countries where the illness was not common.
It is unclear why this surprise epidemic is occurring now.
One possibility is that the virus has evolved in some way, however there is currently little evidence to imply that this is a new strain.
Another possibility is that the virus happened to be in the right place at the right moment to thrive.
Monkeypox may potentially spread more quickly than it did previously, when the smallpox vaccination was widely utilised.
Hans Kluge, the WHO’s regional director for Europe, has warned that “transmission might increase” during the summer season, when people congregate for festivals and parties.
Aside from the European instances, Australia has verified that one guy who visited the UK caught the illness.
In North America, health officials in the US state of Massachusetts reported that one guy who recently visited Canada tested positive for the virus.
The Public Health Agency of Canada said it has discovered two instances in Quebec, although it was unclear if the US tourist was sick before or during his visit to Montreal.