Denmark, Scotland report first cases of monkeypox

More than 100 confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox have been reported, most of them in Europe. PHOTO: REUTERS

COPENHAGEN/LONDON (REUTERS) - Denmark and Scotland confirmed their first cases of monkeypox on Monday (May 23).

Copenhagen registered its first case in an adult male who had returned from a trip to Spain, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

Scotland's first reported case was receiving treatment, according to a statement by Public Health Scotland. The person's contacts were also being traced, it added.

"We are working with NHS Boards (National Health Service) and wider partners in Scotland and the UK to investigate the source of this infection. Close contacts of the case are being identified and provided with health information and advice," said Professor Nick Phin, Public Health Scotland's director of Public Health Science.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday the government was looking carefully at the circumstances surrounding the transmission of monkeypox in Britain following reports of the first Scottish case. 

“It is basically a very rare disease and so far the consequences don’t seem to be very serious but it is important that we keep an eye on it,” Mr Johnson told reporters.

Elsewhere in Europe, Portugal's health authorities reported on Monday 14 new confirmed cases of monkeypox, bringing the country's total tally of confirmed cases to 37.

In neighbouring Spain, the health authorities in the region of Madrid confirmed four more cases on Monday, raising the total to 34. There are another 38 suspected cases of monkeypox in the capital.

Monkeypox, which mostly occurs in west and central Africa, is a viral infection that was first recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1970s.

Symptoms include fever, headaches and skin rashes that start on the face and spread to the rest of the body.

The recent outbreak in more than 10 countries where it is not endemic is highly unusual, according to scientists.

More than 100 confirmed or suspected cases have been reported, most of them in Europe.

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