Amid global spread of monkeypox, Brazil has become the latest country to report its first case of a patient infected with the virus. A 41-year-old infected man had travelled to both Spain and Portugal, the country's health ministry said in a statement. In New York, the health officials suspect infection in ten people after they tested positive for Orthopoxvirus. "Most of these people have had mild cases, have not been hospitalized and have recovered on their own," an update on the city's health website read.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has already identified nearly 1,000 cases so far since the outbreak was registered by "non-endemic " countries. Most of these infections have been detected in Britain, Canada, Germany, Portugal and Spain even as nearly 3 countries have seen patients. Monkeypox is a rare disease, related to the same virus family as smallpox. The disease mainly spreads among people through close skin-to-skin contact, and via contaminated objects such as clothing. Initial symptoms include a high fever, swollen lymph nodes and a blistery chickenpox-like rash.
The health authorities in Spain will begin vaccinating close contacts with confirmed monkeypox cases, news agency Reuters reported quoting health ministry officials. The European nation has more than 242 infections so far.
In the UK, the government ramped up efforts to slow the spread of the virus. On Thursday, it released an advisory under which it has asked residents - diagnosed with the disease- to self-isolate from other people in their household. The advisory also asked the infected patients to keep their laundry separate and avoid close contact with pets.
Germany's independent vaccine advisory panel is recommending that shots against monkeypox be prioritised for people infected. As per the suggestion, two shots should be given at least 28 days apart to people not previously vaccinated against smallpox, while a single dose is enough for those who had received a smallpox shot before, Reuters reported citing the advisory panel.
Greece also appears to have found the country's first case, making it the latest country in Europe to report the spread. According to Bloomberg, the patient had recently travelled to Portugal. Health officials say further testing is needed to be completely certain about the infection.
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the risk of monkeypox becoming established in these non-endemic countries was real, but preventable. The zoonotic disease is endemic in humans in nine African countries.