Health worker administers a vaccination against monkeypox. Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images
With the rate of new monkeypox cases continuing to decrease in the United States, global health officials are reporting new deaths in other countries and warning that it’s too early to become lax on public health safeguards.
The World Health Organization has now reported 23 deaths, mostly in Africa, an increase of five since its previous update on Sept. 7. A single death was confirmed in the United States earlier this month, in Los Angeles County, Calif.
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus acknowledged the downward trend in cases during a press conference Thursday but warned the pattern could change at any time.
“The number of weekly reported cases continues to decline,” Ghebreyesus said. “The trends are encouraging but, as with COVID-19, this is not the time for any country or community to assume those trends will continue. This is the time to keep doing what works.”
Nigeria has seen the most deaths, with six, followed by Ghana (four), according to data from the WHO. Cameroon and the Central African Republic have reported two deaths each. In Florida, there have been a total of 2,444 cases across 41 counties, with South Florida reporting the most infections.
Both the WHO and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to monitor the 2022 outbreak, with officials consistently stating that the disease has disproportionately affected men who have sex with men.
However, anyone can contract the disease that oftentimes is associated with a painful rash of lesions and other symptoms. An infection has been reported in an infant in Florida who had contact with an at-risk adult.
Data from the latest CDC report on U.S. monkeypox trends show that new cases have been declining. For example, 66 new cases were reported on Wednesday, compared to 485 the day before. In August, cases were trending higher, with 916 cases reported on Aug. 22. There were 697 new cases reported on Sept. 6.
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