France and Germany reported their first cases of monkeypox on Friday, joining other European and North American countries to locate the disease locally in parts of Africa.
Monkeypox was detected in a 29-year-old man in the Ile-de-France region, including in Paris, who had not recently returned from a country where the virus had spread, French health authorities said Friday.
Separately, the German Armed Forces Institute of Microbiology said it had confirmed the virus in a patient with a skin lesion – a symptom of the disease.
With a growing number of cases being identified in several European countries, the German health agency Robert Koch Institute has urged people returning from West Africa, especially gay men, to see their doctor immediately if they notice any possibility of skin damage.
Rare diseases – usually not fatal – often manifest themselves through fever, muscle aches, lymph node swelling, chills, fatigue, and rashes like chickenpox on hands and face.
The virus can be transmitted through contact with infected person’s skin wounds and blisters, as well as through shared items such as beds and towels.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says it is looking into the matter closely and that some cases in the UK in particular appear to have been transmitted to the gay community.
Cases of monkeypox have been identified in Italy, Portugal, Spain and Sweden, as well as in the United States and Canada, leading to fears that the disease could spread – usually concentrated in Central and West Africa.
According to the WHO, monkeypox usually clears up after two to four weeks.
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