Washington D.C. 25 May 2022 (PAHO) – Over the past two weeks, cases of monkeypox have been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) from several non-endemic countries with no direct travel links to an endemic area.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/WHO has prepared a comprehensive Questions and Answers page to update the general public on the outbreak and address any concerns that may arise. This is available in both English, French and Spanish.
While this event is concerning for many, particularly those who have been affected, public health investigations are ongoing in those countries that have identified cases, including contact tracing, clinical management and isolation.
PAHO/WHO is also working with Member States to support surveillance, preparedness and outbreak response activities.
To limit further spread between people, it is vital that countries raise awareness of monkeypox and its mode of transmission, particularly among those most at risk of infection.
Monkeypox is a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals), that can also be transmitted from one person to another through close contact with an infected person.
Symptoms include fever, headaches, muscle aches, and skin rash, which tends to be concentrated on the face, palms of hands and soles of feet. Affected persons are contagious from the beginning of symptoms until the skin lesions are fully cured.
Monkeypox symptoms resolve in most patients on their own with supportive treatment. However, it is important to reduce the risk of contagion by limiting contact with people who have suspected or confirmed monkeypox.
Monkeypox transmission from person to person has historically been limited. While the risk to the general public is low, WHO is responding to this event as a high priority to avoid further spread.