Posted on Jul 30, 2022
Brazil and Spain have reported their first monkeypox deaths. A 41-year-old man in Brazil became the first fatality from the virus outside Africa. Spain announced its first death soon afterwards, which is also the first in Europe, the BBC reports.
Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the monkeypox outbreak a global health emergency, although infections are usually mild and the risk to the general population is low.
Brazil has so far reported 1,066 confirmed cases and 513 suspected cases of the virus. Data from Brazil's health ministry indicates that more than 98% of confirmed cases were in men who have sex with men.
Health officials are recommending people at highest risk of exposure to the virus - including some gay and bisexual men, as well as some healthcare workers - should be offered a vaccine.
There are several vaccines, developed for the prevention of smallpox that also provide some protection. A smallpox vaccine (MVA-BN, also known as Imvamune, Imvanex, or Jynneos) was recently developed and approved in 2019 for use in preventing Monkeypox but it is not yet widely available.
The monkeypox virus is a member of the same family of viruses as smallpox, although it is much less severe and experts say chances of infection are low.
It occurs mostly in remote parts of central and west African countries, near tropical rainforests.
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