Argentina reports case of monkeypox; man travelled from Spain

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina –

Argentina reported a case of the monkeypox virus on Friday in a man who recently travelled to Spain. It also reported a suspected case of the rare virus in another person.

A man from the province of Buenos Aires has monkeypox, Argentina’s health ministry said in a statement.

An official in the ministry earlier confirmed the positive case but said health authorities were waiting to finish sequencing the virus before making the official announcement.

It is the first time the presence of the virus has been confirmed in Latin America during this latest outbreak in countries around the world that are not usually known to have outbreaks.

The sequencing of the virus revealed a high degree of similarity with monkeypox from western Africa, as has been the case with the new infections around the world, Argentina’s Health Ministry said.

Authorities have revealed little about the patient beyond saying he traveled to Spain from April 28 through May 16 and had symptoms compatible with monkeypox, including lesions and a fever, on Sunday.

The man is being treated for his symptoms. All of his close contacts are being monitored and none have presented any symptoms to date, the Health Ministry said.

Health authorities in Argentina also reported an additional suspected case of the virus in a resident of Spain who is currently visiting the province of Buenos Aires and has no ties to the first case.

The man presented lesions compatible with monkeypox on Thursday, a day after arriving in the country.

“The patient is in good general health, isolated and receiving symptomatic treatment,” the Health Ministry added. None of his close contacts have yet to present any symptoms.

Nearly 200 cases of monkeypox have recently been reported in more than 20 countries not usually known to have outbreaks of the disease, the World Health Organization said on Friday. But that looked to be an undercount.

Spain has emerged as an epicenter of this recent outbreak and health authorities confirmed on Friday there were 98 confirmed cases in the country. The United Kingdom has reported 106 confirmed cases while Portugal said Friday the number of people with monkeypox had increased to 74.

Cases have also been reported in the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, France and Italy, among others.

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Associated Press journalist Maria Cheng in London contributed.

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