On Thursday, health authorities announced the discovery of the first confirmed case of monkeypox in Sweden, after a series of cases of this disease in Europe and North America, which is usually endemic to West Africa.
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“A case of monkeypox has been confirmed in a person in the Stockholm region,” the Swedish Public Health Agency said in a statement.
The authorities explain that the infected person “is not seriously ill, but has received treatment,” noting that they do not yet know where and how the infection occurred.
She explains that the authority is “now checking with the regional infection control centers to see if there are more cases in Sweden.”
This uncommon disease usually presents with fever, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash on the hands and face, like chickenpox.
The European Union’s agency responsible for diseases and epidemics said the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) plans to publish its first risk assessment report “early next week”.
The agency, which says it is “closely monitoring the situation”, recommends that suspected cases be promptly isolated, tested and reported.
Dozens of suspected or confirmed cases of monkeypox have been discovered since the beginning of May in Europe and North America, raising fears that the disease is starting to spread.
The United Kingdom, which reported the first cases, which were discovered from May 6, raised the total number of infected people to nine on Wednesday evening.
On Wednesday, Spain, Portugal, Canada and the United States, in turn, reported that they had detected monkeypox, or what appeared to be present, on their territory.
The authorities want to be generally reassuring, and therefore confirm in Spain and Portugal that the disease is not highly contagious in humans.
However, the increase in apparent outbreaks is worrying, and the World Health Organization said on Monday it is paying close attention to the fact that some cases in the UK appear to have transmitted within the LGBT community.