The number of monkeypox cases jumped 20% in the last week to more than 35,000 cases total worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.
Add to that: 12 deaths have been reported.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a Wednesday press conference said most cases so far are among men who have sex with men, though "anyone exposed can get monkeypox, which is why WHO recommends that countries take action to reduce the risk of transmission to other vulnerable groups, including children, pregnant women, and those who are immunosuppressed.
"In addition to transmission through sexual contact, monkeypox can be spread in households through close contact between people, such as hugging and kissing, and on contaminated towels or bedding."
Ghebreyesus said the WHO recommends targeted vaccination for those exposed.
Dr. Rosamund Lewis, the WHO's monkeypox technical lead, said the vaccine, though not a "silver bullet," was a necessary precaution.
"We have known from the beginning that this vaccine would not be a silver bullet, that it would not meet all the expectations that are being put on it, and that we don't have firm efficacy data or effectiveness data in this context," Lewis said. "People do need to wait until the vaccine can generate a maximum immune response, but we don't yet know what the effectiveness will be overall."
"The fact that we're beginning to see some breakthrough cases is also really important information, because it tells us that the vaccine is not 100% effective in any given circumstance," she added.
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