Mexico reached 60 positive monkeypox cases last Tuesday, reported the Ministry of Health. While more infections are forecasted, Deputy Minister of Health Promotion Hugo López-Gatell said that the disease will not spread extensively.
No deaths from monkeypox have been reported to date but seven patients were hospitalized because they were severely immunosuppressed. However, all patients recovered in a period of 21 days. “It is very important to highlight that this is a disease with a very low lethality. Of these almost 17,000 cases there have only been five deaths in the world, and this is not a disease that is expected to spread extensively,” said López-Gatell.
Cases have been reported across 11 regions. López-Gatell added that the Ministry of Health has taken the appropriate actions to stop the spread of the disease because monkeypox “occurs in small outbreaks and in key populations; transmission is mainly by skin contact with patients in the active phase, and disappears in 21 days. It generally causes little harm, except in severely immunosuppressed persons with low defenses.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently announced that the monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) and urged countries to take action to prevent the virus from spreading uncontrolled, which could cause a global pandemic. As of today, the risk of being infected by monkeypox is moderate in all regions around the globe except the EU where it is high, said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General, WHO.
“For all of these reasons, I have decided that the global monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern,” said Adhanom during a press conference. Over 16,000 cases in 75 countries have been officially reported. “There is also a clear risk of further international spread, although the risk of interference with international traffic remains low for the moment,” he said.
New waves of monkeypox cases are forecasted as long as the virus keeps presenting in new and susceptible populations, which is why WHO members supported declaring the disease a public health emergency of international concern. Experts suspect that the actual size of the outbreak might be underestimated.