Israel reports second case of monkeypox, in a 30-year-old man

Israel reports second case of monkeypox, in a 30-year-old man
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Israel has confirmed a second case of the rare monkeypox virus, in a 30-year-old man who has just returned from a trip abroad.

The man was hospitalized Friday at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv, and was released shortly after. He was confirmed to be infected with the virus on Saturday.

The new infection came just over a week after Israel discovered its first case of the virus, in a man in his 30s who had returned from a trip to Western Europe.

Last Sunday, the Ministry of Health announced that two additional suspected cases had been ruled out by doctors.

Symptoms of the disease include fever, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, and a chickenpox-like rash on the hands and face.

Since the UK reported its first case on May 7, the World Health Organization has reported 200 cases in several countries around the world. The virus is endemic throughout West and Central Africa.

Sylvie Briand, director of the Pandemics and Epidemics Department at the World Health Organization, in front of the headquarters of the UN agency on May 12, 2020 in Geneva (Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

Addressing the World Health Assembly on Friday, Sylvie Briand, director of the Department of Pandemics and Epidemics at WHO, said experts were unsure if the outbreak had reached the ‘tip of the iceberg’ [or] if there are many more undetected cases in the communities.

While warning that more cases were likely on the way, she urged the public not to panic, explaining that the disease was ‘not a disease the general public should be worried about. It’s not COVID or other fast-spreading diseases.

On Thursday, a top epidemiologist at the WHO said more cases are expected to be detected in countries where monkeypox does not usually circulate.

Dr Maria Van Kerkhove said in a social media Q&A: We expect more cases to be detected. We call on countries to strengthen surveillance. It is a manageable situation. It will be difficult, but it is a manageable situation in non-endemic countries. »

She urged countries to “increase surveillance”, but said the outbreak was a “controllable situation”.

“It will be difficult, but it is a manageable situation in non-endemic countries,” Van Kerkhove explained.

Israeli health officials have also played down the virus risk. In a conference call last Sunday, the head of public health services at the Ministry of Health, Dr Sharon Alroy-Preis, called for calm and said that the recent virus outbreak did not pose a major risk to the public health.

Monkeypox usually goes away after two to four weeks, according to the WHO.

One case of the virus was diagnosed in Israel in 2018, and no known community infections have resulted.

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