New Delhi: On Sunday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that cases of the monkeypox virus had been reported from 23 non-endemic countries and a total of 257 lab confirmed cases and 120 suspected cases have been clocked in.
In a statement, WHO said that the virus' sudden appearance in several countries at once where the disease is not typically found suggests undetected transmission for some time.
The global health agency also warned that monkeypox now constitutes a "moderate risk" to overall public health at the global level.
"The public health risk could become high if this virus exploits the opportunity to establish itself as a human pathogen and spreads to groups at higher risk of severe disease such as young children and immunosuppressed persons," WHO said.
The agency also expects more cases to be reported as surveillance expands to endemic and non-endemic countries.
Immediate action, according to WHO, includes:
- providing accurate information to those who might be at risk
- preventing further spread among high risk groups
- protecting frontline health workers