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Monkeypox claims its first death in Europe as Spain confirms more than 4,200 cases

Monkeypox claims its first death in Europe as Spain confirms more than 4,200 cases

Monkeypox kills its first victim in Europe as Spain confirms death just a week after WHO declared it a global health crisis

  • Spain has confirmed its first death from monkeypox since the epidemic broke out
  • The news is the first confirmed death from the viral disease in Europe
  • Spain is the leading country on the continent in terms of confirmed cases

Spain has confirmed its first death from monkeypox – and the first death from the virus in Europe.

All five of the previous reported deaths were in African countries.

The Spanish Ministry of Health confirmed the deaths today as 4,298 cases have been reported so far.

It did not provide any details about the person who died or when it happened. Only 64 confirmed cases in Spain were women.

Earlier this month, with the number of confirmed cases in Spain at just over 3,000, Spain was identified as the world leader in monkeypox.

The first cases in May were linked to a gay sauna in Madrid and the Pride festival in Gran Canaria.

Last week, the World Health Organization declared monkeypox a global health emergency, meaning it now considers the current epidemic a significant enough threat that a coordinated international response is needed.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus decided to issue the statement despite a lack of consensus among experts serving on the UN health agency’s emergency committee.

It was the first time the head of the UN health agency had taken such a step.

“We have an outbreak that has spread rapidly around the world through new modes of transmission that we understand too little and that meet the criteria of international health regulations,” Tedros said.

“I know it has not been an easy or straightforward process and that there are differences of opinion among the committee members,” he added.

The WHO announcement came after the virus spread to more than 75 countries. CEO Dr. Tedros said at the time that the risk of people contracting the virus in Europe was “high”.

The WHO has previously declared emergencies due to public health crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the 2016 Zika virus in Latin America and the ongoing polio eradication effort.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (above) decided to issue the statement despite a lack of consensus among experts serving on the UN health agency's emergency committee.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (above) decided to issue the statement despite a lack of consensus among experts serving on the UN health agency’s emergency committee.

Although monkeypox had been established in parts of central and west Africa for decades, it was not known to have spread outside the continent or spread widely among humans until May, when authorities detected dozens of individual outbreaks in Europe, North America and elsewhere.

Traditionally, people with monkeypox developed fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches and muscle aches.

Symptoms are followed by a rash that starts on their face or mouth and then spreads to other parts of the body – especially the hands and feet.

ALSO READ:  Chicago urges people with rashes to stay away from summer festivals in case they have monkeypox

However, in some recent cases, patients first developed a rash in the mouth or around the genitals or anus.

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