LONDON (Reuters) – The World Health Organization said “sustained transmission” of monkeypox worldwide could see the virus begin to move into high-risk groups, like pregnant women, immunocompromised people and children.
WHO said on Wednesday it is investigating reports of infected children, including two cases in the United Kingdom, as well as following up reports in Spain and France. None of the cases in children have been severe.
The virus has now been identified in more than 50 new countries outside the countries in Africa where it is endemic. Cases are also rising in those countries, said WHO, calling for testing to be ramped up.
“I’m concerned about sustained transmission because it would suggest that the virus [is] establishing itself and it could move into high risk groups including children, the immunocompromised and pregnant women,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
(Reporting by Jennifer Rigby and Mrinalika Roy; Editing by Catherine Evans)