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United Arab Emirates detects first case of monkeypox

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Health authorities in the United Arab Emirates detected the first case of the monkeypox virus in the country on Tuesday in a young woman who traveled from West Africa.

The government said little about the patient, but stressed that authorities were investigating her contacts and “taking all necessary steps” to limit the spread of monkeypox.

The statement did not say where the case was discovered in the federation of seven emirates, which includes the capital of Abu Dhabi and the tourist hub of Dubai.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, authorities in the autocratic country had also refused to provide a geographic breakdown of COVID-19 cases.

The diagnosis in the United Arab Emirates marks the first case reported in the Arabian Peninsula. Israel recorded the first reported case in the Middle East earlier this week. The World Health Organization has identified more than 100 cases worldwide.

Cases of the smallpox-related disease have previously only been seen among people with links to West and Central Africa. But Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the United States, Sweden and Canada have all reported infections, mostly in young men who have never traveled to Africa before. France, Germany, Belgium and Australia have also identified cases.

The virus comes from primates and other wild animals and causes fever, body aches, chills and fatigue in most patients. People with severe cases may develop a rash and lesions on the face, hands, and other parts of the body.

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