Pakistan denies WHO reports of monkeypox cases in the country

Islamabad, May 24 (EFE).- Health authorities in Pakistan said Tuesday that no cases of monkeypox have been reported in the country after a World Health Organization data showed two cases were diagnosed in the south Asian nation.

“No case of monkeypox has been diagnosed in Pakistan so far,” Dr Mumtaz Ali, head of epidemic cell at the National Institutes of Health, told EFE.

The health official said there was no truth to the reports circulating on social media about the cases being diagnosed, but the situation was being closely monitored by the health authorities.

“WHO cannot report a case unless we report to them because we are the source for them here,” Ali underlined.

The WHO, during a technical session of its annual assembly underway in Geneva, revealed Tuesday that there have been 131 confirmed cases of monkeypox across 17 countries and 106 suspected cases.

The first case in non-endemic countries – where even one case is considered an outbreak – was reported on May 7. European countries account for most of these cases.

The countries with the most number of confirmed cases are Spain (40), Portugal (37) and the United Kingdom (20).

Spain is also the country with the most suspected cases (51), followed by Canada (17) and Italy (15), according to WHO data.

The health body, however, said the outbreak is so far “containable” and limited.

The disease has been endemic for at least 40 years in countries in western and central Africa, after it was first detected in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Cases previously reported in other regions have always been linked to people who had traveled to the Africa.

This is the first time that such a widespread outbreak has been observed in non-endemic countries.

Symptoms of the disease, which spreads through close contact, may include fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, muscle fatigue, and rashes on the face, hands, feet, eyes, or genitals. EFE


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