Monkeypox, a viral disease, is quickly spreading in Europe and North America. The illness causes fever, intense headaches and swollen lymph nodes and has a fatality ratio of three to six percent, according to the World Health Organization.
The disease spreads from one person to another through close contact with respiratory secretions and skin lesions.
“Transmission via droplet respiratory particles usually requires prolonged face-to-face contact, which puts health workers, household members and other close contacts of active cases at greater risk,” WHO said.
The virus typically occurs in Central and West Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions, the global health agency added.
In the latest outbreak, Monkeypox cases have been detected in the Canada, United States, United Kingdom Italy, Sweden, Spain and Portugal.
In Canada, there are at least a dozen suspected Monkeypox cases, news agency AFP reported. Two of them were confirmed on May 19.
The US has so far confirmed one case -- a patient with history of travel to Canada, according to CNN.
The UK has reported at least seven Monkeypox infections, AFP reported.
WHO official Ibrahima Soce Fall said transmission was being seen among gay men.
"(It) is new information we need to investigate properly, to understand better the dynamic of local transmission in UK and in some other countries,” he was quoted as saying by AFP.
In Spain and Portugal, over 40 Monkeypox cases have been reported so far. Spanish health authorities also pointed to the possible transmission of the disease via sexual activity.
Italy and Sweden confirmed their first Monkeypox cases on May 19.
But can Monkeypox be prevented or treated?
WHO said vaccines used for the eradication of smallpox have been seen to provide protection against Monkeypox.
"Newer vaccines have been developed of which one has been approved for prevention of Monkeypox," it added. "An antiviral agent developed for the treatment of smallpox has also been licensed for the treatment of Monkeypox."(With inputs from AFP)