MADRID: Spain and Brazil reported their first monkeypox-related deaths on Friday, believed to be the first fatalities linked to the current outbreak outside of Africa.
Spain is one of the world’s worst affected countries, with 4,298 people infected with the virus there, according to the Health Ministry’s Emergency and Alert Coordination Center.
“Of the 3,750 (monkeypox) patients with available information, 120 cases were hospitalized (3.2 percent) and one case died,” the center said in a report.
An official would not provide the specific cause of death for the fatality pending the outcome of an autopsy.
In Brazil, a 41-year-old man died of monkey pox, local authorities said Friday.
The man, who, according to local media, had serious immune system problems, died Thursday in Belo Horizonte, the capital of the southeastern state of Minas Gerais.
He “was undergoing hospital treatment for other serious conditions,” the health ministry said in a statement.
“It is important to underline that he had serious co-morbidities, so as not to create panic among the population. The death rate is very low” for monkey pox, said Minas Gerais health secretary Fabio Baccheretti, who added that the patient was undergoing cancer. therapy.
Brazil’s Ministry of Health has registered nearly 1,000 cases of monkey pox, mostly in the states of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, which are also located in the southeast of the country.
Early signs of the disease include a high fever, swollen lymph nodes, and a chickenpox-like rash.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the monkeypox outbreak a global health emergency on Saturday.
More than 18,000 cases have been discovered outside of Africa since early May, according to the WHO.
The disease has been detected in 78 countries, with 70 percent of cases in Europe and 25 percent in the Americas, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday.
As cases mount worldwide, the WHO on Wednesday called on the group currently most affected by the virus — men who have sex with men — to limit their sexual partners.
Ghebreyesus told reporters that the best way to protect against infection was to “reduce the risk of exposure.”
“For men who have sex with men, for now, this includes reducing the number of sexual partners, reconsidering sex with new partners, and exchanging contact information with new partners to allow for follow-up if necessary,” he said.
The disease usually heals on its own after two to three weeks, sometimes a month.
A smallpox vaccine from Danish drugmaker Bavarian Nordic, marketed under the name Jynneos in the United States and Imvanex in Europe, has also been shown to protect against monkeypox.