Egypt records its first monkeypox case

monkeypox, mpox
Colorized transmission electron micrograph of mpox virus particles (red) cultivated and purified from cell culture. Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Credit: NIAID

Egypt has recorded its first case of the monkeypox virus, in a man who travelled regularly to Europe, the country's health ministry said Wednesday.

"The first case of monkeypox has been detected in Egypt. The 42-year-old man has a residence permit from a European country to which he regularly travels," the of the Arab world's most populous country said in a statement.

The man has been placed in isolation in hospital.

Late last month the World Health Organization said the disease, which is not normally fatal, had been detected in seven Middle East and Maghreb countries.

Monkeypox cases have been on the rise since May in Western and Central Africa, where it was already endemic.

The WHO triggered its highest level of alarm on July 24, classifying monkeypox as a public health emergency of international concern, alongside COVID-19.

The disease causes painful and scarring lesions, principally to the face, anus and genitals.

Worldwide, 18 deaths have been attributed to monkeypox since May.

More than 50,000 cases have been recorded in the global outbreak, though transmission is slowing in the virus hotspots of Europe and the United States.

© 2022 AFP

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