ROME (AFP) - Italy on Thursday (May 19) reported its first case of monkeypox, joining a number of other European and North American nations in detecting the disease endemic in parts of Africa.
Monkeypox was identified in a young adult who had recently returned from the Canary Islands, Rome's Spallanzani Institute for infectious diseases said.
He is being treated in isolation and is in a reasonable condition, it said in a statement carried by Italian news agencies, adding that two other suspected cases were being investigated.
Mr Alessio D'Amato, health commissioner for the Lazio region that includes Rome, confirmed on social media that it was the country's first case, adding that the situation was being "constantly monitored".
Cases of monkeypox have also been detected in Spain and Portugal - where more than 40 possible and verified cases have been reported - as well as Britain, Sweden, the United States and Canada.
The illness, from which most people recover within several weeks and which has only been fatal in rare cases, has infected thousands of people in parts of Central and Western Africa in recent years but is rare in Europe and North Africa.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday said it was coordinating with UK and European health officials over the new outbreaks.