The number of infected people is not only increasing in Europe - now the USA is also reporting its first case of monkeypox. The virus disease usually causes only mild symptoms, but can also have severe courses. Several cases are already under investigation in Spain, Canada and the UK.
After several cases in Great Britain, Spain and Portugal, monkeypox has now also been found in the USA. The disease was registered in a resident of the state of Massachusetts in the northeast of the country, said the CDC health authority. The person recently traveled to Canada - but the virus was found in the United States.
Monkeypox is usually transmitted through the air. In some of the recent cases, however, experts suspected fluid infection because the patients were gay men.
In Spain, eight infections were reported in the capital Madrid, the Europa Press news agency reported on Wednesday, citing the health authorities. In Portugal, the newspaper “Público” even wrote about 20 infected people.
According to local media, health authorities in Canada are also investigating around a dozen suspected cases. Results are expected in the coming days. The authorities had been informed of a confirmed case in the province of Quebec, the Canadian broadcaster CBC reported on Wednesday evening (local time), citing the local Ministry of Health. There was initially no official confirmation.
In view of the cases in Great Britain, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) had recently made doctors in Germany aware of the virus infection. An article published by the RKI states that monkeypox should also be considered as a possible cause in the case of unclear smallpox-like skin changes if those affected have not traveled to certain areas.
According to the health authority UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), the number of recorded cases of the rare disease in Great Britain had increased to seven from Monday. The first infection, which became known in Great Britain at the beginning of May, is said to be due to an infection in Nigeria.
Up to now, monkeypox has mainly been known to occur in some regions of Africa. According to the RKI, men who have sex with men should "immediately seek medical care" if they have any unusual skin changes.
According to the UKHSA, the virus disease usually causes only mild symptoms, but can also have severe courses. Smallpox has been considered eradicated worldwide since 1980 after a major vaccination campaign. Experts suspect that the monkeypox pathogen circulates in rodents, monkeys are considered false hosts.
(This article was first published on Thursday, May 19, 2022.)