A 41-year-old man has died of monkeypox in Brazil, while Spain also reported its first death from the disease on Friday. These are the first known deaths outside of Africa, where monkeypox is endemic.
According to a statement from the Brazilian Ministry of Health, quoted by local media, the deceased patient had a weakened immune system and suffered from lymphoma, among other illnesses.
“He was hospitalized in a public hospital in Belo Horizonte and then taken to intensive care. The cause of death was septic shock, aggravated by monkeypox,” said the ministry.
Health authorities in the state of Minas Gerais, where the patient was hospitalized, said he died on Thursday.
Meanwhile, on Friday evening, the Spanish Ministry of Health confirmed the first death from monkeypox in the country, marking the first in Europe. In its latest report, the ministry revealed that of the 3,750 monkeypox patients in Spain for whom information is available, 120 were hospitalized (3.2%) and one died. Authorities have not provided any additional information about the deceased.
The World Health Organization, which recently declared the 2022 monkeypox outbreak a global health emergency, had so far reported five deaths, all in African countries.
Meanwhile, the number of new cases around the world continues to grow. On July 28, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a total of 21,148 cases in 78 countries, including nearly 21,000 in countries “who have not historically reported monkeypox.”
The United States leads in the number of cases worldwide, with nearly 5,000 reported infections.
Monkeypox is similar to human smallpox, which was eradicated in 1980, and is endemic in parts of West and Central Africa. Its early symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion, and sufferers develop distinctive skin lesions.
According to the WHO, the current outbreak of monkeypox “is concentrated in men who have sex with men, especially those who have multiple sexual partners.
However, recently the first cases of monkeypox were reported in children. A combined smallpox and monkeypox vaccine is in production and has been distributed to major cities in the US, UK and several European countries.
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