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World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Picture: FABIAN BIMMER/REUTERS
World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Picture: FABIAN BIMMER/REUTERS

The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed more than  14,000 cases of monkeypox worldwide, with five deaths reported in Africa, director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday.

Most of the cases reported so far have been found in Europe, the WHO said, though all the deaths have occurred in Africa, the region where monkeypox outbreaks have historically been found.

The WHO director-general said 14,300 cases had been confirmed.

More than 60 countries in which monkeypox is not endemic have reported outbreaks.

On Thursday, the WHO will convene the second meeting of a committee that will decide whether the outbreak is a public health emergency of international concern, its highest level of alert.

“Regardless of the committee’s recommendation, the WHO will continue to do everything we can to support countries to stop transmission and save lives,” Ghebreyesus said.

Monkeypox, which spreads through close contact and was first found in primates, mostly occurs in West and central Africa.

Reuters 

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