"We have an outbreak in Ecuador due to the unusual increase in cases of a pathology that did not exist and we continue to make epidemiological fences so that the number of cases would stop increasing," said Francisco Perez, undersecretary of national health surveillance of the Ecuadoran Health Ministry at a virtual press conference.
Cases of monkeypox have been detected so far in seven of the 24 Ecuadorian provinces, with the highest incidence found in Guayas, Los Rios and El Oro in the coastal region.
Of the six new confirmed cases, two were found in children with one being a 9-year-old who came from abroad and developed the infection in Ecuador, said the Ecuadoran health official.
"This shows that the disease can occur at any age," Perez said, noting that in Ecuador the infections were initially found mostly in men aged 20-40.
Among the 16 confirmed cases, a patient died on Monday due to a "pre-existing pathology."
According to the Ecuadoran official, the most common symptom is the appearance of pus-filled pimple-like vesicles on the body mainly in the genital area, palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
Meanwhile, 35 people are currently under surveillance for the infection.
Perez called for maintaining biosecurity measures and recommended the use of mask.
The first case of this zoonotic disease was confirmed in Ecuador on July 6 in a 30-year-old man in the city of Guayaquil, capital of the southwestern province of Guayas.