Spain has reported Europe’s first monkeypox-related death of the current outbreak – and the second outside of Africa.
The country’s health ministry confirmed the death on Friday, but did not release further details about the person.
Brazil reported the first monkeypox-related death outside the African continent in the current outbreak, earlier on Friday.
In its latest report, the Spanish health ministry said 4,298 cases had been confirmed in the country.
Of the 3,750 patients it had information on, it said 120 have been hospitalised – accounting for 3.2% – and one has died, without providing further details.
The Brazilian victim was a 41-year-old man who, according to the country’s health ministry, also suffered from lymphoma and a weakened immune system.
“The comorbidities aggravated his condition,” the ministry said, adding the patient was hospitalised in the southeastern city of Belo Horizonte and died from septic shock after being taken to the intensive care unit.
Earlier this month, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the monkeypox outbreak a “global health emergency”.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference that while the risk globally is “moderate”, in Europe it is “high”.
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The declaration by the WHO is designed to trigger an international response to the outbreak, which could unlock funding and vaccine sharing.
Monkeypox is very difficult to catch from someone and is mostly caught from infected wild animals in the western region of central Africa.
The virus can be transmitted from person to person through close physical contact, including sexual intercourse.
The first cases of monkeypox infections were confirmed in England from 6 May this year.
The UK Health Security Agency says up to 25 July, there were 2,367 confirmed and 65 highly probable monkeypox cases in the UK.
Of these, 59 were in Scotland, 18 were in Northern Ireland, 30 were in Wales and 2,325 were in England.
Gay and bisexual men are disproportionately affected by the spread of the virus, with 98% of those infected from this group.
To slow its spread, the WHO is advising gay men to limit their number of sexual partners.
Although most cases so far are among men who have sex with men, anyone exposed can get monkeypox.
Symptoms of the virus include single genital lesions and sores on the mouth or anus, while the NHS website lists a high temperature, a headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen glands, shivering and exhaustion.
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