Update 11:55 AM EST: The World Health Organization's European head raised concerns on Friday that the current spread of monkeypox in the region could worsen as people gather for parties and festivals over the summer.
"As we enter the summer season in the European region, with mass gatherings, festivals and parties, I am concerned that transmission could accelerate, as the cases currently being detected are among those engaging in sexual activity, and the symptoms are unfamiliar to many," Dr. Hans Henri P. Kluge, the WHOs Regional Director for Europe said in a statement.
Eight European countries have reported monkeypox cases in recent days taking the total tally of suspected or confirmed cases to more than 100.
Previously: The smallpox drug maker SIGA Technologies (NASDAQ:SIGA) is trading higher for the third straight session to reach the highest level since June 2011 on Friday amid an ongoing outbreak of monkeypox virus in the west.
The World Health Organization is reportedly convening a group of leading experts on Friday to discuss the alarming spread of the microbe, a close relative of the smallpox virus.
The primary concern is how the virus, commonly found in remote parts of Central and West Africa, may be spreading with many cases found among those who don’t have a recent travel history.
The global body will also be looking at why clusters include gay or bisexual men, with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issuing similar warnings.
SIGA (SIGA) shares surged on Thursday after the company announced the FDA approval of an intravenous (IV) formulation of its TPOXX treatment for smallpox, which could also be effective for treating monkeypox.
Other developers focused on smallpox and monkeypox therapies and vaccines Emergent BioSolutions (EBS), Tonix Pharmaceuticals (TNXP) and Bavarian Nordic (OTCPK:BVNKF) (OTCPK:BVNRY), and Chimerix (CMRX) also rose in solidarity as more countries reported new cases.