Monkeypox: ECDC publishes rapid risk assessment
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has published a rapid risk assessment following an outbreak of monkeypox (MPX), affecting the UK, EU/EEA countries, and North America.

The focus of ECDC’s MPX assessment is centred on human-to-human transmission and, to date, EFSA is not aware of any reports of infections in animals (pets or wild animals) in the EU. There is a possible risk of human-to-animal transmission in Europe, therefore close collaboration between human and veterinary public health authorities is needed to manage exposed pets and prevent the disease from being transmitted to wildlife.

The risk assessment is available at the following link:

Monkeypox (MPX) is a zoonotic viral disease caused by the monkeypox virus (MPXV). The virus can also spread from humans to humans, as is the case with this current outbreak affecting among other the EU/EEA countries. The clinical signs are similar to those of smallpox, but usually much milder. Human cases typically present with fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes, and may lead to a range of medical complications.

As of 23 May, cases of monkeypox (MPX) acquired in the EU have been reported in nine EU Member States (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the Netherlands).

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control is providing up-to-date information about the epidemiology of this event on its website, where the latest information (including the number of cases) is available.

In co-operation with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), which is monitoring human cases, EFSA’s experts are following the progress of the MPX outbreak closely, considering the possibility of transmission to animals in the EU.

Detection of the MPXV or antibodies has been shown in a broad range of species, including non-human primates, opossums, different types of African squirrels and rats, dormice, African bush-tailed porcupine, and African hedgehog, among others. Before the outbreak, in the EU, a decision from the European Commission was already in place to address risks arising from MPX from imported animals by providing protection measures regarding MPXV.  Under this decision Member States shall prohibit the importation of rodents of non-domestic species and squirrels originating in or coming from third countries of the African sub-Saharan region and the USA. 

More information on the prevention of spread by animals can be found on the World Organisation for Animal Health website.


The news was shared by the EFSA Focal Point, run by Nébih and EFSA.


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