In a briefing to member countries, Sylvia Briand, WHO Epidemic and Pandemic Preparedness and Prevention Director, said the extent of the virus is still unknown.
Since the UK first reported a confirmed monkeypox case on May 7, nearly 200 infections have been reported to the UN health agency in countries far from the states where the virus is endemic.
Ms. Briand said there are many uncertainties surrounding transmission of monkeypox.
Noting that usually in countries in which the disease is endemic outbreaks have been self-limiting, "and so we hope that it will be exactly the same with the current one."
Notwithstanding that optimism however, she conceded that this was not certain, "and also we don't know the extent of the disease."
"Currently we don't know if we are just seeing the peak of the iceberg and there are many more cases that are still undetected in the community," she conceded.