Israel Reports Second Suspected Monkeypox Case After Confirming First


The Health Ministry said Sunday that it may have identified a second case of the viral monkeypox disease, less than a day after confirming the country’s first case of the somewhat infectious illness.

According to the ministry, both the confirmed patient and the suspected cases had recently returned from two separate trips to Western Europe before being hospitalized with skin lesions.

The Health Ministry added that the patient confirmed with the monkeypox is a 30-year-old man who is currently being treated at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Medical Center and that he is in good condition. It further called on anyone returning from abroad with fever and lesions to see a doctor.

Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, the head of Public Health Services at the ministry, told Army Radio Sunday that medical teams were investigating other suspected monkeypox cases.

Israel’s case appeared to be the first identified in the Middle East.

Cases of the smallpox-related disease have previously been seen only among people with links to central and West Africa – but Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the U.S., Sweden and Canada have all reported infections in recent days.

The World Health Organization has identified about 80 cases globally, and roughly 50 more suspected cases. The U.K., meanwhile, announced it is preparing to hand out vaccinations for medical staffers in order to stem the possibility of an outbreak,

The virus originates in primates and other wild animals, and causes fever, body aches, chills and fatigue in most patients. People with severe cases can develop a rash and lesions on the face, hands and other parts of the body.

The virus itself is related to the deadly smallpox virus that became extinct in the 1980s thanks to an aggressive vaccination drive by the World Health Organization – and which today is only found in virology labs in the U.S. and Russia.

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