Forty days after the UK notified the first case of monkey poxthe world reached this Thursday (16) the mark of 2,000 infected by the virus, in an outbreak that grows larger every day.
Data from the real-time monitoring of the Global.health initiative, from researchers from universities such as Harvard and Oxford, showed 2,048 confirmed cases by the end of the morning.
England leads the list, with 504 diagnoses. Then come Spain (313), Portugal (241) and Germany (269).
Monkeypox, however, spreads beyond Europe. Canada has already recorded more than 150 infected. In the United States, there are 84.
The disease has been recorded on every continent except Antarctica.
O Brazil has six confirmed diagnoses: in São Paulo (four), Rio Grande do Sul (one) and Rio de Janeiro (one). Another eight suspected cases are under analysis, according to the Ministry of Health.
All Brazilian patients had recently traveled to European countries with a high number of cases.
Amid the advance of the disease, classified as “uncommon and worrying”, the WHO (World Health Organization) will meet on the 23rd to decide whether monkeypox should be declared a PHEIC (Public Health Emergency of International Concern), similar to what happened with Covid-19, Ebola and Zika.
“Obviously we don’t want to wait until the situation is out of control to declare a situation of international concern,” Ibrahima Socé Fall, assistant to the WHO director-general for emergencies, told a news conference on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, researchers around the world are trying to understand how a virus considered difficult to transmit between humans is spreading rapidly.
The expectation of the European arm of the WHO is that cases will continue to increase during the summer, since at that time there are more parties and travel.
Transmission occurs through close contact, such as hugs, kisses and sexual intercourse, although it is not yet classified as an STI (sexually transmitted infection). However, even sleeping in a bed with someone who is infected can be enough to contract the virus.
Several countries already stockpile vaccines against traditional smallpox (the only one available, but effective against monkeypox), with the aim of initially immunizing frontline health workers.
It has not been observed so far that this is a serious illness; on the contrary, the picture resolves spontaneously after about three weeks.
The disease is characterized by an initial period of malaise, with fever and body pain, enlarged lymph nodes (swells), followed by skin lesions.