The cases of monkeypox are piling up. The German Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has now called for vigilance over several cases of monkeypox in Europe.
Travel returnees from West Africa and men who have sexual contact with men should “immediately seek medical care” in the event of unusual skin changes, the RKI announced on Wednesday.
Numerous suspected cases in Europe
The authorities in Spain and Portugal only reported around 40 new suspected cases on Wednesday.
Symptoms of monkeypox in humans include a rash that often starts on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body, fever, muscle aches, and chills.
Most people recover from the disease within a few weeks. The disease is usually transmitted through close contact with infected animals such as rodents and monkeys and is most prevalent in central and western Africa.
As the health authorities of Madrid announced, they have identified “23 possible cases of monkeypox”. Although monkeypox is usually airborne, all patients contracted it through sexual activity.
These were mostly gay men, but not always. The authorities also discovered 20 suspected cases in the region around Lisbon, mainly among young men.
Also cases in USA and Canada
The British authorities had previously registered several cases. In the UK, it was mostly gay or bisexual men. In the most recent four cases, however, no direct connection to three previously identified infected people could be found, which fuels the suspicion of a wider spread than previously known.
As Canadian media reported on Wednesday, the authorities in the metropolis of Montréal are also investigating more than a dozen suspected cases of monkeypox. These were reported by clinics specializing in sexually transmitted infections.
The United States also found monkeypox in an adult recently returned from Canada. The US health agency CDC emphasized that “any person, regardless of their sexual orientation, can spread monkeypox.” (SDA/euc)