Deaths from monkeypox have been reported for the first time outside of Africa – in Spain and Brazil.
Spain reported its first death linked to monkeypox on Friday, marking what is thought to be the first death linked to the current outbreak in Europe.
Spain is one of the worst-affected countries in the world and 4,298 people have been infected with the virus, according to the Health Ministry’s Emergency and Alert Coordination Center.
“Of the 3,750 [monkeypox] patients with information available, 120 cases were hospitalized (3.2%) and one case died,” the center said in a report, following a death in Brazil linked to the disease which was the first fatality outside of Africa.
An official would not give a specific cause of death pending the results of an autopsy.
First monkeypox death in South America
A 41-year-old man in Brazil has died of monkeypox, making him the first person outside Africa to be killed by the disease, local authorities have said.
The man, who local media said had serious immune system problems, died Thursday in Belo Horizonte, the capital of the southeastern state of Minas Gerais.
He was “receiving hospital treatment for other serious conditions,” the health ministry said in a statement.
“It is important to highlight that he had serious comorbidities, so as not to panic the population. The mortality rate is very low for monkeypox,” said Minas Gerais health secretary Fabio Baccheretti. , who added that the patient was undergoing treatment for cancer.
The Brazilian Ministry of Health has recorded nearly 1,000 cases of monkeypox, mostly in the states of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, which are also in the southeast of the country.
The first case was detected on June 10 in a man who had traveled to Europe.
Early signs of illness include high fever, swollen lymph nodes, and a chickenpox-like rash. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the monkeypox outbreak a global health emergency last Saturday.
According to the WHO, more than 18,000 cases have been detected worldwide outside Africa since the beginning of May.
It has been detected in 78 countries with 70% of cases found in Europe and 25% in the Americas, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday.