5 dead in global monkeypox outbreak: 4 updates

Nearly 14,000 people across the globe have contracted monkeypox this year, and five have died, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, Director-General of the World Health Organization, said July 20.

Four updates:

1. The cases span more than 70 countries and territories. While most infections have occurred in Europe, all five deaths involved people in Africa.

2. Cases are quickly rising in the U.S., with the CDC reporting 2,323 cases as of July 20, up from 1,470 cases July 14.

3. Health officials are tracking virus clusters across the country that have appeared after large gatherings, such as music festivals and pool parties, according to CNN. Officials are also working to better understand how monkeypox spreads.

"We're really trying to understand what skin-to-skin contact means and how long it takes to transmit," Patrick McGough, executive director of the Oklahoma City-County Health Department, told CNN. "It seems to be cluster events where there's a lot of skin-to-skin or sexual contact, but it's not a sexually exclusive disease, nor is it limited to one group like men who have sex with men."

4. The WHO is meeting July 21 to reassess whether the outbreak should be considered a public health emergency of international concern.

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