The global outbreak of monkeypox should not be expected to stay confined to specific groups, a World Health Organization (WHO) official said Monday.


Though cases of the virus have been predominantly reported among men who have sex with men, diseases commonly begin in one community before spreading to others.


“This really might be the canary in the mine that’s alerting to us of a new disease threat that could spread to other groups,” Catherine Smallwood, senior emergency officer at the WHO, said Monday on CNBC’s “Street Signs Europe.”


“At the moment, cases continually continue to be reported among men who have sex with men, for the most part, but we should not expect that to remain as such,” Smallwood added.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 2,891 cases in the U.S. as of July 22 and more than 16,836 cases globally.