Monkeypox instances have been reported in France, Germany, and Belgium.

Explainer: What is monkeypox and where is it spreading?

 In recent days, European and American health officials have discovered a number of monkeypox cases, predominantly in young males. It's an unusual outbreak of a disease that only occurs in Africa.

Health experts throughout the world are on the lookout for new cases since the disease appears to be spreading outside of Africa for the first time. They emphasize, however, that the risk to the general public is minimal.

What exactly is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a virus that begins in wild animals such as rats and monkeys and occasionally spreads to humans. The majority of human cases have occurred in central and western Africa, where the illness is prevalent.

Scientists discovered the condition in 1958, when there were two outbreaks of a "pox-like" disease in study monkeys, thus the term monkeypox. In 1970, a 9-year-old child in a remote section of Congo became the first reported human infection.

What are the signs and symptoms, and how are they treated?

Monkeypox is caused by the same virus as smallpox but has lesser symptoms.

The majority of patients merely have a fever, body pains, chills, and exhaustion. More serious illnesses may cause a rash and sores on the face and hands, which can spread to other regions of the body.

The incubation time ranges from five to three weeks. Most patients recover within two to four weeks without the need for hospitalization.

Monkeypox can kill up to one in every ten persons and is known to be particularly severe in children.

People who have been infected with the virus are frequently given one of many smallpox vaccinations that have been found to be effective against monkeypox. Antiviral medications are also being developed.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control urged on Thursday that all suspected cases be separated and that high-risk contacts be given the smallpox vaccination.

How many instances of monkeypox are there on average?

The World Health Organization estimates that thousands of monkeypox infections occur each year in around a dozen African nations. The majority are in Congo, which reports around 6,000 cases per year, and Nigeria, which has approximately 3,000 cases per year.

Experts believe that because health monitoring systems are patchy, many sick persons are likely to go unnoticed.

Isolated instances of monkeypox have been reported outside of Africa, including the United States and the United Kingdom. Cases are usually linked to travel to Africa or interaction with animals from places where the illness is more prevalent.

On Wednesday, US officials announced the diagnosis of monkeypox on a man who had just visited Canada. The Canadian Public Health Agency additionally confirmed two instances connected to that positive test.

Quebec health officials had stated that they suspected 17 cases in the Montreal region.

Is monkeypox transmitted through sex?

It's conceivable, but it's uncertain right now.

Monkeypox has not previously been linked to sex transmission, although it can be transferred through close contact with sick persons, their bodily fluids, and clothing or bedsheets.

According to Michael Skinner, a virologist at Imperial College London, it is still too early to tell how the guys in the UK became infected.

"By definition, sexual activity entails close touch, which one would anticipate to enhance the risk of transmission, regardless of a person's sexual orientation or route of transmission," Skinner explained.

According to University College London's Francois Balloux, the UK cases "may not necessarily reflect any recent shift in the virus's path of transmission."