The number of monkeypox cases reported globally has decreased, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) report issued Thursday, reported DW, quoting news agencies AP, dpa and Reuters.
In the week from August 15-21, there were 21% fewer cases than in the previous week, the WHO said.
In the previous four weeks, the numbers had been rising. According to the WHO, in total, more than 41,000 cases of monkeypox and 12 deaths have been reported from 96 countries.
Germany is among the four countries with the highest numbers: the US has more than 14,000 cases, followed by Spain, Brazil and Germany. The WHO declared the outbreak a global health emergency in July.
Decline in Europe, rise in Americas
The report sent a possible signal the outbreak in Europe may be starting to decline.
"There are signs the outbreak is slowing in Europe, where a combination of effective public health measures, behavior change and vaccination is helping to prevent transmission," WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press briefing.
The European Region includes 53 countries from the EU to Turkey, Turkmenistan, Russia and Israel.
In the North and South America region, however, the numbers continued to rise, with the highest increase reported in the United States. Over 34% of the current global case count is in the United States.
Cases in the Americas accounted for 60% of the global figure in the past month, the WHO said, while cases in Europe comprised about 38%.
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 of the cases were in Nigeria and Congo, the agency said.
Limited vaccine supplies
Since monkeypox outbreaks in Europe and North America were identified in May, the WHO and other health agencies have noted that its spread was almost exclusively in men who have sex with men.
Monkeypox has been endemic in parts of Africa for decades, and experts suspect the outbreaks in Europe and North America were triggered after the disease started spreading at two raves in Belgium and Spain.
With globally limited vaccine supplies, authorities in the US, Europe and the UK have all begun rationing doses to stretch supplies by up to five times.