Less than 24 hours after Spain reported its first death from the monkeypox virus, another death from the virus has been reported. Spain is the country with the second highest number of infections. A Spanish epidemiologist explains why this is so.
The first death was reported from the Valencia region on Friday. The second monkeypox death in Spain is a 31-year-old man from Córdoba. Spain has been hit hard by the virus with 4,298 confirmed infections in the country. The victims are mostly men with an average age of 37 years.
Spain registers most infections after America
Spain is currently the country with the second highest number of infections in the world. Only America reports more (4,906) cases. Of the 4,298 confirmed cases in Spain, divided between 4,234 men and 64 women, 120 people are in hospital. The Spanish news site Ondacero.es, among others, wrote an article on Saturday about why there are so many monkeypox infections in Spain.
Spanish epidemiologist calls for calm
Epidemiologist Quique Bassat is trying to convey a reassuring message through the Spanish media. Although Spain has one of the highest numbers of infections, and even two deaths, the epidemiologist says it is “normal for Spain to register such high numbers.” In the days when the virus appeared in various parts of the world, there were many events in Spain, mainly festivals, where people could easily and quickly get infected.
Although two people have died in Spain, Bassat emphasises that the death rate is many times lower than, for example, during Covid-19 and that it is important to follow the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO). The organisation advises to reduce the number of sex partners. A vaccination program has also been set up for people in the risk group. The epidemiologist does not expect monkeypox to reach the same proportions as Covid-19.
Monkeypox virus global health crisis
The WHO declared monkeypox a global health crisis on July 23. WHO data shows on that day there were more than 16,000 cases of monkeypox in 75 countries. Anyone who becomes infected with the virus can suffer from fever, headache, muscle aches and general malaise. Then, after a few days, a rash with blisters appears on the skin.
Usually people don’t get very sick from an infection. The virus currently mainly affects men who have sex with men, but it is not a venereal disease. The virus spreads through skin-to-skin contact, among other things. Therefore, anyone can contract the virus as a result.