First Case of Monkeypox Registered in Sweden
Dozens of cases of monkeypox have been reported across Europe during the spring. The most common symptoms include fever, swollen lymph nodes, general malaise and a rash with blisters.
The first case of monkeypox, a rare disease previously limited to Western and Central Africa, has now been confirmed in Sweden, with the patient being treated in the Stockholm area.
“The person in Sweden who has been confirmed as infected is not seriously ill, but has received care. We don't know yet where the person became infected. Investigation is underway right now,” Klara Sondén, infection disease specialist and investigator at the Swedish Public Health Agency said in a statement about the newly uncovered case.
The most common symptoms are fever, swollen lymph nodes, general malaise and a rash with blisters. The disease normally occurs in Western and Central Africa. In the past, a handful of cases were reported across the globe, mostly after travel to those areas.
However, during the spring, an unusual number of cases of monkeypox have been discovered in Europe. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), virus transmission appears to have occurred as a result of homosexual contacts between men, at least in the case in the UK. Recently, more than 40 cases have been discovered in Spain and Portugal, with Madrid's health director Elena Andradas describing the patients as “young, adult men, and most of them have sexual relations with other men”.
The disease has also spread to the US and Canada, with the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issuing monkeypox alerts and stressing that its clusters include “people who self-identify as men who have sex with men”.
“This is a very unusual disease. The Swedish Public Health Agency is now investigating - along with the regional infection control units - whether there are more cases in the country,” Sondén explained.
The Swedish case has been reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the ECDC. To gain access to broader infection control measures, such as tracking and rules of conduct, the Swedish Public Health Agency will now request that the government classify monkeypox as a generally dangerous disease. The purpose of the measure is to contain the disease and prevent further spread.
The Swedish government will now make an “urgent” decision whether monkeypox should be classified as generally dangerous, the Social Affairs Ministry said.