Monkeypox cases around the world have increased 77% in seven days, the World Health Organization said Thursday.
There have been 6,027 laboratory-confirmed cases of monkeypox in 59 countries as of Monday, up 2,614 cases from June 27, the last time the WHO issued its report.
Three deaths have been reported in Africa, where monkeypox is considered an endemic. There have been no deaths from the virus in the US and in other parts of the world.
There are 4,920 confirmed cases in Europe, the region with the most cases.
People who identify as gay, bisexual or men who sleep with men make up most of the cases, according to the WHO’s report.
Health experts have warned that despite those groups making up the majority of cases, anyone can test positive for the virus.
Brian Thomas, a 32-year-old Baltimore man who recently tested positive for monkeypox, opened up about his experience with the virus to ABC News, saying he pushes back against people thinking it’s a gay disease.
“Even though this community is the one that’s most affected now, it’s not going to stay like that forever if the numbers increase,” Thomas said.
The incubation period from the time a person is exposed to when symptoms first appear can be anywhere from five to 21 days, according to the WHO.
The disease begins with a fever, headache, fatigue, chills and muscle aches. Monkeypox also causes swollen lymph nodes.
The Department of Health and Human Services said it’s sending nearly 300,000 doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine for disease prevention for people who have been exposed.