Italy, Sweden report first case of monkeypox

Agence France-Presse

Posted at May 20 2022 02:47 AM

Two people on a rickshaw drive along Via dei Fori Imperiali road in front of the Colosseum amphitheater in central Rome, July 31, 2021. Giuseppe Lami, EPA-EFE
Two people on a rickshaw drive along Via dei Fori Imperiali road in front of the Colosseum amphitheater in central Rome, July 31, 2021. Giuseppe Lami, EPA-EFE

Italy on Thursday reported its first case of monkeypox, joining a number of other European and North American nations in detecting the disease endemic in parts of Africa.

Monkeypox was identified in a young adult who had recently returned from the Canary Islands, Rome's Spallanzani Institute for infectious diseases said.

He is being treated in isolation and is in a reasonable condition, it said in a statement carried by Italian news agencies, adding that two other suspected cases were being investigated.

Alessio D'Amato, health commissioner for the Lazio region that includes Rome, confirmed on social media that it was the country's first case, adding that the situation was being "constantly monitored".

Cases of monkeypox have also been detected in Spain and Portugal -- where more than 40 possible and verified cases have been reported -- as well as Britain, Sweden, the United States and Canada.

The illness, from which most people recover within several weeks and which has only been fatal in rare cases, has infected thousands of people in parts of Central and Western Africa in recent years but is rare in Europe and North Africa.

The World Health Organization on Tuesday said it was coordinating with UK and European health officials over the new outbreaks.

– Confirmed case in Stockholm –

One person in Sweden has a confirmed case of monkeypox, health authorities said Thursday following similar cases in Europe and North America.

"One person in the Stockholm region has been confirmed to be infected with monkey pox," Sweden's Public Health Agency said in a statement.

The infected person "is not seriously ill, but has been given care," according to the agency.

"We still don't know where the person was infected. An investigation is currently underway," Klara Sonden, an infectious disease doctor and investigator at the agency, said in a statement.

The health authority is now "investigating with the regional infection control centres whether there are more cases in Sweden," it said.