France confirms 51 monkeypox cases

PARIS, France -- France has detected 51 cases of monkeypox, French health authorities said Friday, as the number of confirmed infections worldwide rises.

The European country reported its first cases in May, and its last total was of 33 confirmed cases on Wednesday.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday it was aware of more than 700 global cases of monkeypox, including 21 in the United States.

The French national public health agency said the cases were all men, aged between 22 and 63, and only one had been hospitalised and then discharged.

The rare disease -- which is not usually fatal -- often manifests itself through fever, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion and a chickenpox-like rash on the hands and face.

The disease is endemic to parts of Central and West Africa but is rare in Europe and North Africa.

Monkeypox usually clears up after two to four weeks, according to the World Health Organization.

French Health Minister Brigitte Bourguignon said last week officials did not expected an "outbreak" and that the country had enough vaccine stocks.

France has recommended adults get vaccinated, including health professionals, if they have come into contact with infected individuals.