World Brazil, Spain report first monkeypox deaths outside Africa

Brazil, Spain report first monkeypox deaths outside Africa

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Brazil’s Health Ministry said Friday that a 41-year-old immunosuppressed patient with a history of chemotherapy died from monkeypox Thursday. Photo courtesy of Brazil’s Ministério da Saúde

July 30 (BP) — Brazil has reported the first monkeypox death outside of Africa with Spain reporting the first and second monkeypox deaths in Europe soon after.

Brazil’s Health Ministry said in a statement Friday that a 41-year-old immunosuppressed patient with a history of chemotherapy died from monkeypox Thursday.

There have been 1,259 confirmed cases of the monkeypox in Brazil as of Friday with the majority of them reported as men in their early 30s and concentrated in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais.

Hours later, Spain reported Europe’s first monkeypox death, the BBC and Sky News reported. That patient suffered from encephalitis but further details were not provided.

Spain’s Health Ministry on Saturday announced a second death linked to monkeypox but further details about that case were also not provided.

In Spain, data from the National Epidemiological Surveillance Network shows there have been 4,298 confirmed cases of monkeypox as of Friday. More than 4,000 of them are men with a median age of 37 years old.

Most of the cases — about 1,656 of them — were reported in Madrid while 1,406 were reported in Catalonia.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that there have been 22,486 cases of monkeypox confirmed globally, of which 22,141 were reported in countries that have not previously reported monkeypox cases.

Monkeypox, which first emerged in the 1970s in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was identified in Britain in May and has since been confirmed in at least 74 countries around the world.

Last week, the World Health Organization declared monkeypox a global health emergency amid the recent spike in cases though a committee wasn’t able to come to a consensus about the seriousness of the outbreak.

Symptoms generally include several days of flu-like illness and swollen lymph nodes followed by a blister or pimple-like rash. It commonly spreads through direct contact with an infectious rash, scabs or bodily fluid, or touching items that have previously touched a rash or fluid.

Monkeypox can also spread through respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact such as kissing, cuddling or sex, according to the CDC.

There have been 4,906 confirmed cases of monkeypox reported in the United States, according to the CDC, of which 1,383 have been reported in New York, prompting Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday to declare a disaster emergency.

The disaster emergency declaration has been issued through Aug. 28 and authorizes state agencies to assist local governments in containing and recovering from the outbreak.

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