Israel, Switzerland and Austria on Sunday confirmed cases of monkeypox, the BBC reported. With this, the total number of countries affected by the virus has reached 15.
On Saturday, the World Health Organization had confirmed 92 confirmed cases of monkeypox across 12 countries, while 28 suspected cases were under investigation.
Monkeypox is a rare infection that is mainly spread by wild animals like rodents and primates in parts of west or central Africa, according to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service.
The disease usually causes a mild illness and can result in symptoms such as high temperature, headache, backache and a chickenpox-like rash.
The United Kingdom’s National Health Service says that it is uncommon for the infection to spread through human contact but can happen if a person touches monkeypox skin blisters or uses clothing, bedsheets or towels of those suffering from the disease.
The cases were reported in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
The global health body had said it expects more cases of monkeypox to be reported as it expands surveillance in countries where the disease is not typically found.
On Sunday, United States President Joe Biden said that the cases of monkeypox in Europe and the United States were something “to be concerned about”, The Associated Press reported.
“It is a concern in that if it were to spread it would be consequential,” Biden told reporters in South Korea.
Biden added that the United States is working towards finding if any vaccine works on the virus.
Meanwhile, the United Nations’ AIDS agency on Sunday said that some reporting on the monkeypox virus is racist and homophobic.
According to the World Health Organization, the cases of monkeypox have been mainly, but not exclusively, identified amongst men who have had sex with men and sought care in sexual health clinics.
“Some public reporting and commentary on monkeypox have used language and imagery, particularly portrayals of LGBTI and African people, that reinforce homophobic and racist stereotypes and exacerbate stigma,” the UNAIDS said in a press release. “Lessons from the AIDS response show that stigma and blame directed at certain groups of people can rapidly undermine outbreak response.”