The United Arab Emirates’ healthcare system is prepared for any potential spread of monkeypox, the country’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) said on Sunday.

The ministry is also investigating and monitoring suspect cases, but did not say whether any cases had been confirmed in the UAE.

It issued a circular for all medical workers in the country asking them to report any suspected cases to the authorities, the official WAM news agency reported.

Neighboring Saudi Arabia on Saturday issued a similar statement from its health ministry, confirming that the Kingdom had issued guidelines to health workers and saying that all necessary tests were available.

More than 80 cases of the viral disease have been detected in recent days, and another 50 potential cases are being monitored, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The disease can cause symptoms including fever and aches, and is often accompanied by a distinctive rash.

It is commonly spread through skin-to-skin contact and is believed to have originated in west Africa.

Most people fully recover from monkeypox in two to four weeks, but the disease has a fatality rate of around one percent.

News of monkeypox cases has stoked fears of a pandemic after COVID-19 caused widespread disruption to the global economy and killed millions.

Monkeypox is far less transmissible than COVID-19, however, and should be easier to contain than the airborne SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Israel detected its first case on Saturday, joining Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Sweden, the United States, Canada and Australia.