The number of monkeypox cases reported globally dropped by 21% in the last week, reversing a month-long trend of rising infections and a possible signal the outbreak in Europe may be starting to decline, according to a World Health Organization report issued on Thursday.
The U.N. health agency reported 5,907 new weekly cases and said two countries, Iran and Indonesia, reported their first monkeypox cases. To date, more than 45,000 cases have been reported in 98 countries since late April.
Cases in the Americas accounted for 60% of cases in the past month, WHO said, while cases in Europe comprised about 38%. It said infections in the Americas showed “a continuing steep rise.”
The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday the continent had 219 new cases reported in the past week, a jump of 54%. Most were in Nigeria and Congo, the agency said.
In early July, just weeks before the agency declared the international spread of the disease to be a global emergency, WHO’s Europe director said countries in the region were responsible for 90% of all laboratory-confirmed cases of monkeypox.
British health authorities said last week after seeing a decline in the number of new cases getting reported daily that there were “early signs” the country’s monkeypox outbreak was slowing.