Scientists are trying to determine what caused the initial spate of cases and whether anything about the virus has changed. Increased global travel as well as climate change have generally accelerated the emergence and spread of viruses, experts said.
Infectious disease experts said years of financial neglect has left sexual health clinics — which are on the frontline of the current monkeypox response — ill-prepared to curb further spread.
Health officials said people should avoid close personal contact with someone who has an illness presenting with a distinctive rash or who is otherwise unwell. People who suspect they have monkeypox should isolate and seek medical care.
Health officials have been offering monkeypox vaccines to high-risk individuals and those who have recently been in close contact with an infected person.
An older vaccine, made by Emergent Biosolutions, is called ACAM2000 but its uptake has been limited due to a severe side-effect warning.
Danish company Bavarian Nordic said it can produce 30-million doses of its vaccines, including the monkeypox vaccine, each year, and has tapped a US-based contract manufacturer to increase monkeypox vaccine capacity.
Monkeypox symptoms often resolve on their own within weeks. Patients may receive extra fluids and additional treatment for secondary bacterial infections.
An antiviral agent called tecovirimat, which branded as TPOXX and made by SIGA Technologies, has US and EU approval for smallpox, while its European approval includes monkeypox and cowpox.