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Monkeypox alert: Nations where this rare disease has been identified so far. List here

By, New Delhi
May 20, 2022 04:28 PM IST

While health officials are keeping a watch on the progression of the cases, the outbreak of the disease is rather surprising as the infection has rarely been seen outside Africa until now.

Cases of monkeypox have been identified in several European countries,  as well as the US, Canada and Australia,  giving health authorities more to worry amid the Covid-19 pandemic that is now in its third year. Health officials are tracking the progression of monkeypox cases, and have noted the outbreak is rather surprising as the infection has rarely been seen outside Africa. The disease now appears to be spreading among people who have not traveled to the continent and have been detected mostly among young men. However, health officials have stressed that the risk to the general population is low.

The palms of a monkeypox case patient from Lodja, a city located within the Katako-Kombe Health Zone, are seen during a health investigation in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1997. (via REUTERS)

Also read | Monkeypox outbreak: UK health experts warn gay, bisexual men against the virus

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Monkeypox is a virus that originates in wild animals like rodents and primates, and occasionally jumps to people. Most human cases have been in central and west Africa, where the disease is endemic.

List of countries where the monkeypox disease has been identified:

> Spanish authorities reported 14 confirmed cases on Friday, taking the total number to 21. There are another 20 suspected cases - 19 in the central region of Madrid and one in the Canary Islands, Reuters quoted health authorities.

> France reported its first monkeypox case - a man from the country's Ile-de-France region, which includes Paris. He had not travelled recently to a country where the virus is currently circulating, health authorities said Friday.

> Belgium has reported two confirmed cases. They live in different cities but were at the same party (at an undisclosed location). Neither is seriously ill, although both are in isolation, AFP said citing Belgian media reports.

> The first case from Germany was reported by Reuters, which quoted Focus, a German-language news magazine that, in turn, cited German military.

READ: France, Belgium, Germany join growing list of nations with monkeypox

> Italy on Thursday reported its first case, as did Sweden.

> Portugal has 14 cases so far, with 20 others being monitored.

> In the United Kingdom, nine cases have been reported since May 6.

READ: UK health experts warn gay, bisexual men against the virus

> Canada has reported two cases. At least 17 other suspected cases are under investigation in Montreal, authorities said.

> The state of Massachusetts in the United States this week reported a case of monkeypox in a man who recently travelled to Canada.

> Australian authorities on Friday said they had identified a probable case of monkeypox in a traveller from Europe, with confirmatory testing underway.

The disease was first identified by scientists in 1958 after two outbreaks of a 'pox-like' disease in research monkeys - thus, the name monkeypox. 

The first known human infection was in 1970 - a nine-year-old boy in a remote part of Congo. The disease usually manifests itself through fever, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, and a rash on the hands and face.

(With agency inputs)

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