Two people in Spain have died from monkeypox.
The Spanish Health Ministry on Saturday reported the country’s second death from the outbreak in as many days, marking the first fatalities in Europe and joining Brazil as the second country with fatalities outside Africa.
The death came one week after the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global health emergency.
The ministry confirmed that both deaths were among young men. The vast majority of infections in the US and Europe have occurred among men who have sex with men, but health officials have stressed that anyone can catch and transmit the virus.
Also known as orthopoxvirus, the illness can be transmitted through bodily fluids or close bodily contact with the pus-filled lesions of a patient, as well as contact with respiratory secretions, according to the CDC. Symptoms usually clear up in a matter of weeks.
On Friday, the Spanish Health Ministry said the country’s total infection count had reached 4,298, the highest in Europe, though only 120 required hospitalization. Spanish health authorities plan to administer 5,300 vaccines, an amount Spanish healthcare workers decry as far too low.
The worldwide vaccine rollout has faced widespread criticism for offering too few jabs too slowly, as well as concerns for the inequities faced by African countries, which have battled the virus for decades, as wealthier nations race to buy up limited stocks.
The US Centers for Disease Control had confirmed 22,485 infections globally, including 5,189 in the US, as of Friday. Only Montana, Vermont and Wyoming have remained free of cases since the outbreak began. New York leads the US with 1,345 confirmed cases, including 1,289 in the five boroughs.
With Post wires.