The first patient infected with monkeypox has died in Spain, the Ministry of Health announced on Friday.
So far, the infection has been confirmed in around 4,300 people in the southern European country, and 120 of them have been hospitalized.
Among the infected are a 10-month-old and an 88-year-old patient. The virus has appeared in all the provinces of the country, with the highest incidence in Madrid and Catalonia, with 1,600 and 1,400 diagnosed cases.
The ministry explained that they have detailed information on 3,750 infected people, from which it was revealed that 82 percent of them contracted monkeypox sexually.
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on July 23rd that the spread of monkeypox, which has appeared in more than 70 countries, has now resulted in an “emergency situation” from a health point of view, which, according to its opinion, should now be considered a global emergency.
Although monkeypox has been present in parts of Central and West Africa for decades, it has not yet caused an epidemic outside the African continent. It was only in May of this year that the authorities became aware of the waves of infection in Europe, North America and Asia.
Since Spain is one of the most affected countries at the moment, it was the first to receive 5,300 doses of the Imvanex smallpox vaccine through the EU Health Emergency Response Authority (HERA), because experience shows that the vaccine is also successfully used for monkeypox.
The antiviral drug Tecovirimat, used to treat monkeypox, also came from central EU procurement. The antiviral agent is mainly used in patients in whom the disease causes severe symptoms.