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African Scientists Baffled by Monkeypox Cases in Europe, US

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Scientists who have monitored numerous outbreaks of monkeypox in Africa say they are baffled by the disease’s recent spread in Europe and North America.
Cases …

Scientists who have monitored numerous outbreaks of monkeypox in Africa say they are baffled by the disease’s recent spread in Europe and North America. Cases of the smallpox-related disease have previously been seen only among people with links to central and West Africa. But in the past week, Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy, United States, Sweden, and Canada all reported infections, mostly in young men who hadn’t previously traveled to Africa. There are about 80 confirmed cases worldwide and 50 more suspected ones, the World Health Organization said. France, Germany, Belgium, and Australia reported their first cases Friday.
“I’m stunned by this. Every day I wake up and there are more countries infected,” said Oyewale Tomori, a virologist who formerly headed the Nigerian Academy of Science and who sits on several WHO advisory boards.
“This is not the kind of spread we’ve seen in West Africa, so there may be something new happening in the West,” he said. To date, no one has died in the outbreak. Monkeypox typically causes fever, chills, rash, and lesions on the face or genitals. WHO estimates the disease is fatal for up to one in 10 people. Some antiviral drugs are being developed. British health officials are exploring whether the disease is being sexually transmitted. Health officials have asked doctors and nurses to be on alert for potential cases, but said the risk to the general population is low.

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