Spain confirms second monkey pox death, third outside Africa

Two people in Spain have died of monkey pox.

Spain’s health ministry on Saturday reported the country’s second death from the outbreak in as many days, marking the first fatalities in Europe and joining Brazil as the second country with fatalities outside Africa.

The death came a week after the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global health emergency.

The ministry confirmed that both deaths were among young men. The vast majority of infections in the US and Europe have occurred among men who have sex with men, but health officials have emphasized that anyone can get and transmit the virus.

Also known as orthopoxvirus, the disease can be transmitted through bodily fluids or close physical contact with a patient’s pus-filled lesions, as well as contact with respiratory secretions, according to the CDC. Symptoms usually disappear within a few weeks.

A health worker administers a vaccine against Monkeypox to a 41-year-old in Barcelona, ​​Spain.
A health worker administers a monkey pox vaccine to a 41-year-old in Barcelona, ​​Spain.
Francisco Seco/AP

On Friday, Spain’s health ministry said the total number of infections in the country had reached 4,298, the highest in Europe, though only 120 hospitalizations were required. Spanish health authorities plan to administer 5,300 vaccines, an amount that Spanish health professionals consider far too low.

The global vaccine rollout has received widespread criticism for offering too few shots too slowly, as well as concerns about the inequalities facing African countries, which have been battling the virus for decades, as wealthier countries rush to buy up limited supplies.

The US Centers for Disease Control had confirmed 22,485 infections worldwide as of Friday, including 5,189 in the US. Only Montana, Vermont and Wyoming have remained free of cases since the outbreak began. New York leads the US with 1,345 confirmed cases, including 1,289 in the five boroughs.

A health professional prepares syringes with vaccines against Monkeypox.
There are three deaths believed to have been caused by monkeypox outside of Africa.
Francisco Seco/AP

Governor Kathy Hochul declared the spread a “disaster situation” in the state Friday night. Mayor Eric Adams followed up late Saturday with a statement of a public health emergency.

With Post wires.

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