The World Health Organization (WHO) has stressed that the current monkeypox outbreak is not linked to monkeys and expressed sorrow for the killing of monkeys in Brazil amid fears of contagion.
Brazilian news website G1 reported on Sunday that 10 monkeys had been poisoned in less than a week in the city of Sao Jose do Rio Preto, in Sao Paulo state with similar incidents reported in other cities.
Brazil counts more than 1,700 cases of monkeypox, according to the WHO.
The country's health ministry confirmed one death related to the disease on July 29. The victim was a man who had low immunity and comorbidities.
Margaret Harris, a WHO spokesperson, said on Tuesday "people have to know that the transmission we see now is among humans."
Contagion can take place from animals to humans, but the recent outbreak is related to human-only contacts, according to Harris.
"People certainly should not attack the animals," she said, "The only reason it got the name is because the virus was first identified in monkeys kept for research in Denmark," but the disease was found in a number of animals.
She also expressed concern and called for people "not to demonize any person or any animal," or they wouldn't report cases, which would cause more contagion.
The United States has the highest number of confirmed cases which stood at 8,934 on Monday, or about 30 percent of the global total. The Biden administration on Tuesday announced a new strategy to stretch the limited available doses of the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine by using one-fifth as much vaccine per shot with intradermal injection, according to U.S. media.
(With input from agencies)