'No joke': Global monkeypox numbers break records 3 days in a row

There have now been more than 1000 monkeypox cases confirmed worldwide which have appeared in 29 countries, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

And with numbers increasing, one doctor pointed out an alarming new trend and stresses monkeypox is "no joke".

Sharing daily data on monkeypox cases worldwide, Dr Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist and health economist, noted that cases increased sharply three days in a row which is a first since the outbreak began in May.

Doctor in lab coat holding monkeypox test tube
Daily monkeypox cases have increased with one health expert pointing out an alarming new trend: Source: Getty

"It’s now accelerating in more and more countries outside the initial England, Spain, Portugal epicenters," he tweeted on Saturday.

"Canada, Germany, France, Netherlands seeing spikes too. US has doubled in past week too. We need this contained ASAP."

According to the graph he shared, June 7th saw 65 new daily cases worldwide. That number jumped up to 77 daily cases the following day.

June 9th saw case numbers jump by 83, while the next day recorded an additional 85 cases – the highest number of cases a day to date, according to the data.

People urged to wear a mask

Rosamund Lewis, WHO technical lead on monkeypox, said that "interpersonal close contact" was the main way monkeypox spreads.

It can be transmitted from person to person through air droplets, close bodily contact or sharing contaminated linens or objects, so Dr Feigl-Ding urges everyone to "mask up".

Ms Lewis said health workers caring for monkeypox patients should wear a mask, but anyone showing symptoms should be too.

"Anyone developing symptoms that may be consistent with monkeypox should seek medical care, (be) wearing a mask and calling ahead to make sure they can be isolated away from others," Victoria's deputy chief health officer, associate professor Deborah Friedman said on Friday.

"Clinicians should consider testing for monkeypox in returned travellers with compatible symptoms."

Monkeypox testing at airport in India
Cases have now been reported in 29 countries worldwide. Source: Getty

Australia's case numbers increasing

Professor Friedman's comments came on Friday after Australia reported its eighth case of monkeypox. Australia reported its first case on May 20.

A Victorian man, aged in his 40s, returned from Europe before testing positive for the rare viral infection. He is now isolating as the Victorian health department contacts a small number of his close contacts.

Meanwhile, the Venezuelan government said on Sunday it had recorded its first case of monkeypox in a man who entered the country through its principal airport near Caracas after arriving from Madrid.

with AAP and Reuters

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