Spain and Brazil have reported one death each from monkeypox in what are thought to be the first fatalities linked to an outbreak of the disease that began in early May.
Spain is one of the world’s worst-hit countries, with 4,298 cases of the virus, according to the health ministry’s emergency and alert coordination centre.
“Of the 3,750 (monkeypox) patients with available information, 120 cases were hospitalised (3.2 percent) and one case has died,” the centre said in a report on Friday.
In Brazil, the patient who died was a 41-year-old man. The health ministry said he also suffered from lymphoma and a weakened immune system.
He had been admitted to hospital in the southeastern city of Belo Horizonte and died from septic shock after being taken to the intensive care unit.
“It is important to underline that he had serious co-morbidities, so as not to spread panic in the population. The death rate is very low” for monkeypox, said Minas Gerais health secretary Fabio Baccheretti.
Brazil’s health ministry has recorded close to 1,000 monkeypox cases, mostly in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro states, which are also in the country’s southeast. Along with the United States and Canada, it is one of the countries that has been most affected by monkeypox in the Americas.
Early signs of the disease include a high fever, swollen lymph glands and a chickenpox-like rash.
Some 18,000 cases have now been found in 78 countries across the world and a week ago, the WHO declared the outbreak a global health emergency.