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Monkeypox outbreaks in Europe

The European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) is reporting cases of monkeypox in several European countries. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health is monitoring the situation closely.

The European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) is reporting cases of monkeypox in several European countries. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health is monitoring the situation closely.


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Currently, the following cases of monkeypox virus have been reported in Europe:

  • United Kingdom: A total of 9 confirmed cases
  • Portugal: 5 confirmed cases. 20 suspected cases
  • Spain: 8 suspected cases

Unusual transmission chain

This is the first time that transmission chains have been reported in Europe where those infected have not travelled to an area in Africa where this disease is found, or have been in contact with other infected people. Many of the cases are young men, among men who have sex with men (MSM).

“It is unusual for so many cases to be reported where those who have been infected have not been travelling to West Africa. We are following the situation closely,” says Siri Feruglio, acting Department Director at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

Previously, there have only been a few cases of monkeypox in Europe, all in the UK (in 2018, 2019 and 2021). All of these cases had been travelling to Nigeria or were associated with another infected person.

About the disease

Monkeypox causes fever and a chickenpox-like rash. Most people recover without treatment. In rare cases, a severe disease course is seen. Monkeypox is rarely fatal. The disease is transmitted from animals (primarily rodents) to humans but can also be transmitted between humans through contact with rashes and / or droplets. The virus is transmitted primarily through close contact. Monkeypox is  most common in several countries in West and Central Africa.