WHO: The number of monkeypox cases in Europe has tripled

The head of the European branch of the World Health Organization, Hans Kluge, warned yesterday that monkeypox infections have tripled in the past two weeks, and urged countries to do more to ensure that the previously rare disease does not become endemic to the continent.

Kluge said in a statement that more efforts are needed despite the United Nations' decision last week that the escalating outbreak of the disease does not need to be declared a global health emergency.

"Urgent and coordinated action is imperative if we are to turn a corner in the race to stop the ongoing spread of the disease," Kluge added.

So far, more than 5,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported in more than 51 countries around the world, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kluge explained that the number of injuries in Europe represents about 90 percent of the total global injuries, noting that 31 countries in the organization's European region recorded injuries.

Klug also mentioned that the data received by the World Health Organization shows that 99 percent of injuries are among men, and that the majority of these injuries are among men who have sex with men.

But he said there were currently "limited numbers" of infections among family contacts, including children.

Most people reported symptoms of the disease including rash, fever, fatigue, muscle aches, vomiting and chills.

Scientists have warned that anyone in close physical contact with people who have monkeypox or their clothes or bed sheets are at risk of infection regardless of their sexual orientation.

It is believed that vulnerable groups, such as children and pregnant women, are more likely to suffer from serious illness.

About 10 percent of patients were transferred to hospitals for treatment or isolation, while one person was placed in the intensive care unit.

No deaths were reported.

According to data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, the United Kingdom has the largest number of cases so far (1076 according to British authorities), ahead of Germany (838), Spain (736), Portugal (365) and France (350).

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