Israel reports first monkeypox case — Analysis

An Israeli man in his 30s has been hospitalized in Tel Aviv with the country’s first suspected case of the monkeypox virus. The man had previously visited Western Europe where many cases have been recently diagnosed. Israeli Health Ministry said on Thursday it had taken precautions to prevent the spread.

Rare monkeypox outbreak: What you need to know

According to reports, the patient was well and in good health. He is currently being kept in isolation at Ichilov Hospital. Israelis travelling from abroad who have a fever or blistering rash should contact their doctor.

Initial symptoms of monkeypox include flu-like symptoms like muscle pains, swelling lymph nodes, exhaustion and muscle aches. Then, the skin will develop a chickenpox-like reaction with pustules and rash on the hands, face, and arms. The symptoms are similar to smallpox or chickenpox. They usually appear within one to two week. Most patients recover in a matter of weeks.

The rare virus has been reported in at least 8 European countries, including cases among male sex partners who have presented to STD clinics for treatment. As of Friday, 20 cases had been reported in the UK, which declared the outbreak an “Emergency.” France, Germany and Belgium have all confirmed cases of the virus as well. Spain and Portugal both confirmed the cases Wednesday while people infected in Sweden and Italy also showed up.

This week the US announced its first confirmed case. It was a Massachusetts man who recently visited Canada. Canada has confirmed two cases and 17 suspects, with the disease being reported even further afield than Australia.

US acquires Millions of Vaccines to Protect Dangerous Viruses

A number of other cases of smallpox are under surveillance. The US has also purchased large quantities of the vaccine, which was approved by the FDA for monkeypox prevention in 2019. Although the virus is fatal, the US Department of Defense has signed a contract worth $7.5million for antiviral drugs tecovirimat. 

According to reports, the WHO held an emergency meeting Friday about monkeypox. This was to determine how the disease spread from West Africa to peoples who have not traveled there recently.

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