Spain confirms second monkeypox death, third outside Africa

Two people in Spain have died of monkeypox.

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 deaths 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 of young men. The vast majority of infections in the United States and Europe have occurred in men who have sex with men, but health officials have stressed that anyone can catch and transmit the virus.

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

A medical professional administers a Monkeypox vaccine to a 41-year-old man in Barcelona, ​​Spain.
A medical professional administers a monkeypox vaccine to a 41-year-old man 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, although only 120 required hospitalization. Spanish health authorities plan to administer 5,300 vaccines, an amount that Spanish health workers say is far too low.

The global rollout of the vaccine has faced widespread criticism for offering too few vaccines too slowly, as well as concerns about the inequities faced by African countries, which have been battling the virus for decades, as countries the wealthy are rushing to buy limited stocks.

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

A medical professional prepares syringes containing monkeypox vaccines.
There have been three deaths believed to have been caused by monkeypox outside of Africa.
Francisco Seco/AP

On Friday evening, Governor Kathy Hochul declared the spread a “catastrophic emergency” in the state. Mayor Eric Adams followed with a public health emergency declaration late Saturday.

With post wires.

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