The Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs of the Junta de Andalucía has confirmed the first death in the region of Andalusia due to meningoencephalitis, the case of which is under investigation due to its association with infection by monkeypox —monkeypox, MPX—.
The 31-year-old remained admitted to the intensive care unit of the Reina Sofía University Hospital in Córdoba, as detailed by the Andalusian government in a statement, where he pointed out that the samples taken during the autopsy, which are being studied, They will determine whether the cause of death was meningoencephalitis or another pathology.
Currently, there are 525 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the autonomous community, with Malaga (246), Seville (115) and Cadiz (60) being the most affected provinces. Currently, there are 345 active cases.
According to data from the National Epidemiological Surveillance Network (RENAVE), as of July 29, a total of 4,298 confirmed cases of monkeypox have been reported in Spain.
Of the 3,750 for which information is available, 120 cases have been hospitalized (3.2%) and two of them have already died, according to what Health said on Saturday, which communicated the information to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Commission.
This case is the first death in the community and the second at the national level after the one registered in the Valencian Community and which was caused by encephalitis associated with the infection, as detailed by the Ministry of Universal Health.
The two deceased are young men and at the moment the public health services of the autonomous communities to which they correspond are expanding the information on the cases. In addition, laboratory results of different samples from the National Center for Microbiology of the Carlos III Health Institute are awaited.
On the other hand, the latest Renave report also collects data by autonomous community, with Madrid (1,656) and Catalonia (1,406) being the regions with the most monkeypox cases. Next come Andalusia (498), the Valencian Community (213), the Canary Islands (102), the Basque Country (98), the Balearic Islands (89), Aragon (45), Galicia (37), Asturias (36), Castile and León (31), Castile-La Mancha (23), Extremadura (20), Murcia (19), Cantabria (15), Navarre (8) and La Rioja (2).
Similarly, among the patients notified on the SiViES platform, a total of 4,081 are men and 64 are women. In three patients, this information is not recorded. Age ranges from 10 months to 88 years, with an average age of 37 years.
The report also notes that 3,458 of the 4,148 patients for whom data is available “were men who have sex with men”. Close contact in the context of a sexual relationship is “the most probable transmission mechanism” in 2,253 cases, or 82.1%, while in 10.5% it is “through close non-sexual contact”.
Regarding attendance at mass events, of the 3,137 cases with information on this variable, 560 attended an event on dates before symptom onset.
Health warned that Spain is “currently one of the most affected countries in the world”. “During the months of May and June 2022, there was an upward trend in reported cases which continues at the present time,” he warned.
The Ministry also indicated that, as in the rest of the countries, the cases were identified fundamentally in the MSM population -men who have sex with men- being “the mechanism of transmission in the vast majority of cases through very physical contact tight, mainly in the context of risky sex.
The department headed by Carolina Darias, however, stressed that if said sustained transmission “is not optimally controlled”, there will be “a significant risk” that it will spread “to other population groups by the same mechanism. of transmission, with the possibility of assignment”. other groups and the occurrence of severe cases in vulnerable populations”.