Italy detects first case of monkeypox

Hospital in Rome identifies monkeypox in man who returned from Canary Islands.

Rome's Spallanzani hospital on Thursday said it had confirmed a single case of monkeypox in a young man who had recently returned from the Canary Islands.

The patient, who presented himself to the Umberto I hospital in the capital, is being kept in isolation and is described as being in a "fair" condition.

The Spallanzani, Italy's premier infectious diseases hospital, said in a statement that "epidemiological investigations and contact tracing" were underway, with two other suspected cases being investigated.

The news comes the same day that British, Spanish and Portuguese health authorities reported new cases, raising concerns that the virus is spreading out of central and west Africa where it is generally found, reports ANSA.

Massachusetts health authorities on Wednesday confirmed a case of monkeypox in a man who recently travelled to Canada after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported they were monitoring the possible spread of this rare but potentially serious viral disease. 
Monkeypox is a rare viral infection similar to human smallpox, though milder, and it was first recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1970s, Reuters reports.

The incubation period of monkeypox is usually from six to 13 days but can range from five to 21 days. Symptoms can be mild or severe, and lesions can be very itchy or painful. 

For detailed information about monkeypox see the World Health Organisation website.