MADRID/LISBON (Reuters) -Spanish health authorities reported 25 new cases of monkeypox on Thursday, bringing the total tally of infections in one of the main hot spots of the recent outbreak to 84.
The Health Ministry, which now considers all non-human-origin pox infections as monkeypox after a positive test while before only counting those confirmed by sequencing, also said there were 73 suspected cases.
Minister of Health Carolina Darias on Wednesday said Spain would buy monkeypox vaccines as part of the EU joint vaccine purchases and confirmed that the west African strain, which has a fatality rate in about 1% of cases, was the one detected in Spain.
Spain, England and Portugal are the countries with the most cases in the recent outbreak of the usually mild viral disease outside its endemic areas in parts of west and central Africa.
Spain’s neighbour Portugal confirmed nine new infections on Thursday, bringing the total to 58.
Portugal’s health authority DGS said the country was taking steps to establish a vaccine reserve through the European mechanism and was considering vaccinating the contacts of confirmed cases and health professionals.
Most of the infections detected globally so far have not been severe. Many, but not all, have been reported in men who have sex with men. Symptoms include fever and a distinctive bumpy rash.
(Reporting by Emma Pinedo and Patricia Rua; Editing by Mark Porter and Bernadette Baum)