MADRID – The Ministry of Health increases the number of monkeypox cases in Spain to 51 after confirming the first two positives in Andalucia.
The other 47 cases have been confirmed in Madrid and two in the Canary Islands. A further twenty other cases of monkeypox are still suspected. According to RTVE.es, Spain is the second country with the most cases detected, after the United Kingdom.
The Community of Madrid has registered 47 cases linked to an outbreak. Meanwhile the Canary Islands have reported two and Andalucia has confirmed two positives for the first time. The islands also report four “probable” pending confirmation and three “suspect” under study.
No decision on vaccine yet
There are also 20 suspected monkeypox cases in seven other communities. However, they are all mild, as confirmed by the ministry. Moreover, the Public Health Commission has analysed the cases. But a decision has not yet been made about administering the vaccine to the positive cases. The action protocol will not be changed and isolation of the affected people is mandatory, but not for their contacts.
The origin of this outbreak affecting European countries is still unknown. However, public health teams from Madrid and the Canary Islands are investigating whether there is a link between the infections detected in a sauna in the Spanish capital and the Canary cases. This week, both Denmark and Slovenia reported two cases of travellers who had just returned from Gran Canaria.
Furthermore, in Spain, seven other Autonomous Communities have reported patients suspected of having monkeypox infection. These are;
- The Valencian Community
- Castile-La Mancha
- Basque Country
88 suspected cases
The Carlos III Health Institute in Madrid has to date received samples belonging to 88 suspected cases, of which 35 cases have tested negative for smallpox and other orthopox viruses and have therefore been discarded. Two other tests must be repeated, the health ministry said.
Of the cases reported so far, 20 cases have been confirmed as monkey pox and the rest are still awaiting sequence results.
Usually mild course
Monkeypox is so far a rare disease with usually a mild course. All patients reported in Spain, all men, are progressing favourably, according to the latest update from the Autonomous Communities, although the infection is considered a risk for children, pregnant women and people with immunosuppression.
The symptoms include fever, head and body aches, swollen glands, and a rash on the hands and face, similar to those caused by chickenpox. The incubation period varies from 5 to 13 days, although it can sometimes be up to 21 days, so a three-week quarantine is recommended for contacts.
Also read: Health warning for monkeypox virus