Spain reports first monkeypox-related deaths in Europe

  • Spain reported its second monkeypox-related death on Saturday, a day after its first death linked to the virus.
  • Brazil confirmed that a man had died in a monkeypox-related death on Friday.
  • The deaths mark the first reported deaths linked to the virus to occur outside Africa.

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Spain reported its second monkeypox-related death on Saturday, a day after confirming its first death linked to the virus.

The first death in Europe was reported by Spain on Friday and occurred in the Valencia region, according to local media. It was caused by encephalitis, a condition in which the brain becomes inflamed, per reports. Encephalitis is a rare complication of monkeypox, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The second monkeypox-related death was confirmed by the ministry on Saturday, BBC News said.

The ministry said that 3.2% of the 3,750 patients it had information on had been hospitalized, but provided no further details on the circumstances of the second death. Insider contacted Spain’s health ministry on Saturday for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

Brazil’s health ministry also reported a death linked to monkeypox on Friday. The ministry said that a 41-year-old man who died had lymphoma and a weakened immune system. His comorbidities “aggravated” his condition, the health ministry said, per The Guardian.

The Brazil and Spain monkeypox-related deaths were the first outside of the African continent, according to the WHO.

Last week, the WHO declared the monkeypox outbreak to be a global emergency.

There were a total of 22,485 confirmed cases, globally, as of Friday, according to CDC data. It has been detected in 72 countries across the world, the CDC data shows.

The US has the highest number of reported cases (4,906) followed by Spain (4,298), according to the CDC.

Symptoms of monkeypox, which include a rash, fever, and backache, can be extremely painful.  

The virus is spread mostly through close contact with someone who has monkeypox, per the CDC. Though monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease, it can spread through the kind of intimate contact that happens during sex. 

98% of monkeypox cases have been reported in men who have sex with men, though anybody can catch and spread it. This prompted WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to urge on Wednesday that men who have sex with men consider limiting the number of sexual partners they have as the virus continues to spread.

Those who are eligible are also being advised to get a vaccine.

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