Also called monkeypox or simian (Monkeypox in English, mpox) is a rare viral zoonotic disease.
The first human cases were identified in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970. While the majority of documented cases of mpox have occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the number of cases in other West and Central African countries has been increasing for the last decade.
There are currently several African countries in those regions where there are active outbreaks of mpox. Outside Africa, cases of human mpox infections have been documented in different countries: 47 cases in the United States in 2003 and one in 2021, four cases in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2018/2019 and three in 2021, one case in Israel in 2018 and a case in Singapore in 2019.
On 14 May 2022, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) reported the identification of two cases in the UK, with no recent travel history and no contact with an imported case reported on 7 May. UKHSA confirmed a further four cases on May 16, also with no history of recent travel to endemic areas, with no known contact with the previous cases. All of the cases reported on May 16 were men who have sex with men (MSM). Since then, numerous European countries, including Spain, have also reported confirmed cases or cases under investigation, mostly men who have had relationships with other men. This is the first time that chains of transmission have been reported in Europe with no known epidemiological links to West or Central Africa.
Based on the information available at this time, the importance of paying special attention to the affected population without ruling out the possibility of the appearance of new cases in other population groups becomes clear.