A second person has died of monkeypox in Spain – just hours after the first death was confirmed in the current outbreak.
The latest death was recorded by the Spanish health ministry on Saturday.
The first death, reported on fridayoccurred in the northeastern region of Valencia.
Local media reports, citing the regional health department, said the cause of death was encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain associated with infection.
The dead are believed to be the only two known in Europe.
A total of three people outside of Africa are now thought to have succumbed to the disease after Brazil reported the first smallpox-related death in monkeys outside the continent on Friday.
The victim, a 41-year-old man, was hospitalized in the southeastern city of Belo Horizonte and died of septic shock in the intensive care unit.
He has lymphoma, and a weakened immune system has “exacerbated his condition”, the Brazilian ministry said.
There have been 75 suspected deaths in Africa – mainly Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo – where a more deadly form of the virus is spreading.
More than 21,000 cases of monkeypox in nearly 80 countries have been reported since May.
About 4,298 people have been infected with the virus in Spain – meaning it has the most cases in Europe.
Of that total, about 3,500 men had sex with other men, while 64 were women.
The Spanish ministry said about 120 patients – or 3.2% – needed hospital treatment.
Authorities are administering 5,300 vaccines to Spain through the EU’s joint vaccine purchase program.
However, health workers fear that this is far less than the supplies needed to cover those at risk.
The World Health Organization declared the rapidly spreading outbreak a global emergency – its highest alert level.
The spread of the disease to Europe is thought by experts to be linked to two rashes in Belgium and Spain.
California has not yet decided whether to declare a statewide state of emergency
San Francisco declares state of emergency on Friday in response to the rapidly increasing number of cases.
As of July 27, 261 people have been confirmed or possibly the infection – as health officials warn the number is likely to rise.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed said the city’s LGBTQ community is seeing significant cases and called for more action and more vaccines.
However, the state of California has yet to decide on whether to declare a statewide state of emergency, officials said Saturday.
It has reported nearly 800 possible and confirmed cases out of more than 3,000 identified in the US.
Only New York has recorded more cases – with state governor Kathy Hochu declaring a state of emergency as the disease spreads on Friday.
Smallpox in monkeys is transmitted mainly by skin-to-skin contact – but can also be spread through bed sheets used by an infected person.
Symptoms may include fever, body aches, chills, fatigue, and hives.
Many people have experienced mild symptoms, however some can experience excruciating and contagious pain for weeks.