Monkeypox: More than 15,000 cases, two deaths in Europe

Monkeypox: More than 15,000 cases, two deaths in Europe
Credit: Belga

A total of 15,624 cases of monkeypox virus have been reported so far in 32 European countries, while two patients have died, according to a joint report by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to the report, 482 people in Belgium have already been infected with the virus.

The worst affected European countries are Spain (4,577 infections), the United Kingdom and Germany (both 2,724 cases). Nearly all reported cases – 15,524 out of 15,624 – have been confirmed by laboratory testing.

About 41 percent of patients are between the ages of 31 and 40. Nearly all (99.1%) are men. Almost all patients (95%) had a skin rash, while 65% had to deal with symptoms such as fever, fatigue, muscle aches, chills or headache.

Only a small percentage of patients – 399 cases or 5.6% – have been hospitalized, including three who were admitted to an intensive care unit. However, one of the three was admitted for a reason other than monkeypox.

The other two cases admitted to intensive care are said to have died of monkey pox. Their deaths were reported earlier by the WHO, which said two people had died from the virus in Spain.

Some of the patients (41) were health professionals, but they are not said to have been occupationally exposed to the virus.

The WHO activated its highest level of alert, the Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), on 24 July to step up the fight against monkeypox, also known as simian orthopoxvirosis. The organization expects an increase in the number of deaths.

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