According to a World Health Organization study released on Thursday, the number of monkeypox cases reported internationally decreased by 21% in the previous week, reversing a month-long pattern of rising infections and possibly signaling the outbreak in Europe may be beginning to subside.

5,907 new cases were reported this week by the U.N. health agency, and two nations, Iran and Indonesia, reported their first cases.

Since late April, 98 different countries have received reports of more than 45,000 cases.

According to WHO, cases in the Americas made up 60% of cases in the past month, while cases in Europe made up roughly 38%. Infections throughout the Americas, according to the report “a continuing steep rise.”

The number of new cases reported on the continent in the previous week increased by 54% to 219, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday. According to the CIA, the majority were in Congo and Nigeria.

Early in July, just a few weeks before the organization deemed the disease’s global spread to be an emergency, WHO’s director for Europe stated that 90% of all monkeypox cases that had been laboratory verified occurred in nations in the region.

Following a drop in the daily number of new cases recorded, British health officials declared last week that there were “early indicators” the country’s monkeypox outbreak was declining.

According to the U.K.’s Health Security Agency, there is no evidence that the once-rare disease is spreading beyond men who are gay, bisexual, or who have had intercourse with other men, which led the organization to downgrade the country’s monkeypox epidemic last month.

Since May, when outbreaks of monkeypox were discovered in Europe and North America, WHO and other health organizations have highlighted that this disease spread almost exclusively among men who have intercourse with other men.

Experts believe the outbreaks in Europe and North America were initiated when the disease started spreading via sex at two raves in Spain and Belgium. Monkeypox has been widespread in some areas of Africa for decades.

According to the most recent WHO study, 98% of instances are men, and of those who disclosed their sexual orientation, 96% are men who have sex with other men.

“Of all reported types of transmission, a sexual encounter was reported most commonly,” WHO said. “The majority of cases were likely exposed in a party with sexual contacts,” the agency said.

In cases of monkeypox where patients’ HIV status was known, 45% of cases had HIV.

Men at high risk for the condition are advised by the WHO to briefly think about lowering their number of sex partners or to abstain from group or anonymous sex.

In order to spread, monkeypox often needs skin-to-skin or skin-to-mouth contact with the lesions of an infected patient.

Another way to contract the disease is by coming into contact with someone who has lesions from the monkeypox on their clothes or bed linens.

Authorities in the United States, Europe, and the United Kingdom have all started restricting doses to stretch supply by up to five times due to the restricted availability of vaccines globally.

WHO has recommended that nations with vaccinations give priority to immunizing those who are at high risk of contracting the illness, including as gay and bisexual males who have multiple sex partners, as well as medical professionals, lab workers, and people who respond to outbreaks.

Despite having the highest number of probable monkeypox deaths, Africa has no vaccine supplies, with the exception of a very tiny stock that is being evaluated in a research project in Congo.

“As we know, the situation with monkeypox vaccine access is very topical, but there are not enough doses of vaccines. “Potentially, a lot more more doses will become available, but because of challenges with manufacturing factories and unexpected uptick in monkeypox cases, the vaccine may actually not be available until 2023.” Ifedayo Adetifa Nigeria Center for Disease Control Director-General said this week.


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