Three monkeypox deaths outside Africa, including two in Spain

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Madrid (AFP) – Spain recorded its second death of a monkeypox patient on Saturday, the third outside Africa in a few days, and scientific authorities continue to question the real causes of these deaths.

According to the WHO, Spain is the country most affected by the epidemic in the world, where a second person with monkeypox died in Europe the day after the announcement of the first death in the country.

“Of the 3,750 patients (…), 120 cases were hospitalized and two died,” said the Center for Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies in its latest report published on Saturday.

They are “two young men” affected by “monkey pox”, explained the Ministry of Health, without providing the exact cause of death.

Authorities say they are awaiting the results of more “epidemiological information”.

However, we know that the second death concerns a 31-year-old man who was hospitalized in Cordoba, in the south of the country, according to a press release from the Andalusian authorities.

“The samples taken during the autopsy should make it possible to determine whether the cause of death was meningoencephalitis or another pathology,” they added.

In Spain, health is the responsibility of the regions and they are the ones who communicate this type of detail.

Likely increase in deaths in Europe

These are the first deaths in Europe of people infected with monkeypox.

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On Friday, Brazil announced one death, without knowing, on a case-by-case basis, whether the virus is really the cause of the deaths.

With this new announcement from Madrid, a total of eight deaths have been recorded worldwide since May, and the first five have been in Africa, where the disease is endemic and was first detected in humans in 1970. .

With 3,738 cases according to the latest WHO report and the first two deaths recorded in Europe, Spain is the most affected country in the world, ahead of the United States (3,478).

In addition, the Spanish Ministry of Health said on Saturday that it had detected 4,298 cases.

Most of the contamination is concentrated in Europe, where 70% of the 18,000 cases recorded since the beginning of May have been found, and 25% in the Americas, according to the director of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

On the other hand, the WHO Regional Office anticipates an increase in the number of monkeypox-related deaths, although it notes that serious complications remain rare and that in many cases the disease heals on its own, without that treatment is necessary. .

In most cases, the patients are men who have sex with men, relatively young, and who live mainly in cities.

The first symptoms are a high fever, swollen lymph nodes and a chickenpox-like rash.

On July 24, the WHO launched the International Public Health Emergency (USPPI) to step up the fight against the disease, also known as monkeypox.

For now, the WHO emphasizes that there are not vaccines for everyone and recommends prioritizing those most at risk, those infected, those caring for them or those investigating the disease.

Vaccination is carried out in two doses, with a minimum interval of 28 days.

For people vaccinated against smallpox in childhood, one dose is enough. For the immunocompromised, a third dose is recommended.

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