London: Israel, Switzerland and Austria are the latest countries to confirm cases of monkeypox, bringing the total number of nations reporting outbreaks to 15, the media reported.
Israel and Switzerland both said they identified one infected person who had recently traveled abroad. Israel is investigating other suspected cases, the BBC reported.
Monkeypox does not tend to spread easily between people and the illness is usually mild. The virus is most common in remote parts of Central and West Africa.
More than 80 cases have been confirmed in the recent outbreak in Europe, the US, Canada and Australia.
This outbreak has been taken by scientists by surprise, but the risk to the wider public is said to be low. Most people who catch the virus recover within a few weeks, according to the UK’s National Health Service, the BBC reported.
The World Health Organization has said a number of other suspected cases are being investigated — without naming the countries involved, and warned that more infections are likely to be confirmed.
Asked about the outbreak as he finished a visit to South Korea, US President Joe Biden said that if the virus were to spread more widely it would be “consequential”, adding that “it is something that everybody should be concerned about”.
After the outbreak was first identified in the UK, the virus began to be detected across Europe — with public health agencies in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Italy and Sweden all confirming cases.