First monkeypox death outside of Africa reported

(ORDO NEWS) — Three people died: one patient in Brazil, two in Spain.

Three patients infected with the monkeypox virus have died in Brazil and Spain in the past 24 hours, France24 reported , citing local authorities.

For the current global outbreak, these are the first deaths from this acute infectious disease outside the Black Continent. The previous five deaths were in Africa, including in Nigeria and the Central African Republic.

As clarified by the Brazilian Ministry of Health, in the city of Belo Horizonte in the southeast of the country, a 41-year-old man died, in addition to monkeypox, who suffered from lymphoma, a malignant neoplasm of the blood.

He went into septic shock. “Concomitant diseases exacerbated the condition,” the department added.

Brazil, along with the United States and Canada, is among the countries most affected by monkeypox in the Americas, according to the Pan American Health Organization.

In total, five thousand cases of infection were registered on these two continents, specifically in Brazil – 1066, another 513 require laboratory confirmation.

The authorities emphasize that more than 98% of the cases are men who have sex with members of the same sex, the average age is 33 years.

Similar statistics were given by the World Health Organization and physicians, whose reports we wrote about here and here .

As for the Spanish patients, they became the first to die of monkeypox in Europe: the first died yesterday, July 29, the second became known this afternoon. The local Ministry of Health declined to provide details about them.

In total, 4298 cases were detected in the kingdom, about a hundred were hospitalized. In general, Spain is included in the list of countries where monkeypox is spreading most actively.

In early June, the authorities approved vaccination for risk groups and contacts, although at that time they had only 200 doses at their disposal.

A division of the European Commission has purchased 110,000 vaccines for the EU, Iceland and Norway, Spain will receive 10-12 thousand of them.

The highest incidence rate in the world is in the United States : 5189 cases have been recorded there today, although at the beginning of the week their number did not exceed four thousand. San Francisco and New York have declared a public health emergency.

Monkeypox belongs to the genus Orthopoxvirus of the family Poxviridae (poxviruses). The first cases of the disease among animals – monkeys – were identified in the 50s of the twentieth century in Africa, and in humans – 20 years later in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Since 2003, imported cases have been reported in the US, UK, Israel and Singapore. There are two strains of the virus: the Central African clade (or Congo Basin clade) and the West African clade, to which belongs the least virulent pathogen that is spreading today.

The main route of transmission of the virus to humans is from wild animals , such as primates and rodents. But the initial genital or perianal rash, which scientists have repeatedly reported, also points to sexual spread among people.

While the current outbreak mostly affects gay and bisexual men, experts insist that monkeypox should not be called a “gay disease”: it can happen to anyone.

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