Science

Monkeypox: Belgium reports first death

The first death of a monkeypox patient was recorded in Belgium this week, according to a weekly report from the Sciensano Public Health Institute. According to the same source, as of August 29, the country of 11.5 million had “706 confirmed cases of monkeypox” (name of the disease in English).

Among those patients, almost all with skin lesions “predominantly in the anal-genital area,” 32 were hospitalized, Schiensano elaborates, pointing out that two of them “had an underlying immune disorder.” “To date, one case of death of a person with comorbidities has been recorded,” the report says.

16 deaths recorded in 101 countries

According to a World Health Organization (WHO) dashboard listing all confirmed cases, as of August 31, there have been 50,496 cases and 16 deaths in 101 countries and territories. In Europe, where the epidemic appeared in May, Spain already recorded two deaths of patients with the virus at the end of July, and a causal relationship has not been formally established there either.

The epidemic mainly affects the gay community, and most transmission occurs during sexual intercourse. But the WHO strongly emphasizes the need to avoid any stigmatization of a particular community, which can lead to its members hiding the disease, not seeking treatment and continuing to spread it.

On July 24, the organization activated the highest level of alert to try to prevent the spread of the epidemic and its final consolidation. Since the end of August, the spread of the virus in Europe has begun to slow down, according to the WHO, which is confirmed by official data in Belgium (36 cases in the last week against 47 in the previous one).

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