CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s health authorities have detected the country’s first case of monkeypox in a 42-year-old man who frequently travels to Europe. Authorities said the man is stable and has been isolated at a special hospital.
Egypt is the latest in the Middle East to join countries with reported monkeypox cases; Israel and the United Arab Emirates identified their first cases of the viral disease in May and Lebanon did so in June.
The health ministry statement, which was released late on Wednesday, also said that the contacts of the patient, who holds EU residency, are being monitored according to international medical standards recommended by the World Health Organization.
The statement did not say where exactly the case was detected or elaborate further.
Last month, Iran also announced that a 34-year-old woman in the southwestern city of AhvazMay tested positive for the virus, becoming that country’s first case.
According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 56,000 cases have been detected in 102 countries around the globe so far.
Since monkeypox outbreaks in Europe and North America were identified in May, the World Health Organization and other health agencies have noted that its spread was mostly in men who have sex with men.
The virus originates in primates and other wild animals and causes fever, body aches, chills and fatigue in most patients. People with more serious illness can develop a rash and lesions on the face, hands and other parts of the body.
The smallpox-related disease is commonly found in parts of central and west Africa. Most people recover within about two to four weeks without needing to be hospitalized, monkeypox can be fatal for up to 6% of cases and is thought to be more severe in children.