Until recent months, monkeypox was generally limited to western and central Africa, but is now present in several continents.
“We are removing the distinction between endemic and non-endemic countries and reporting on countries together where possible, to reflect the unified response needed,” the WHO said in its June 17 update of the outbreak situation, but sent this Saturday to the media.
Between January 1 and June 15, 2,103 confirmed cases, one probable case and one death were reported to the WHO in 42 countries.
The Geneva-based UN health agency will hold an emergency meeting on June 23 to determine whether the global monkeypox outbreak should be classified as a public health emergency of international concern.
The designation is the highest alarm the UN organization can sound.
The majority — 84 percent — of the confirmed cases come from the European region, followed by the AmericaAfrica, Eastern Mediterranean region and western Pacific region.
The WHO thinks the real number of cases is likely higher.
The normal initial symptoms of monkeypox are a high fever, swollen lymph nodes, and a blister-like chickenpox-like rash.
However, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said current cases don’t always show flu-like symptoms, and rashes are sometimes limited to certain areas.