First Monkeypox case is confirmed in the Canary Islands

First Monkeypox case is confirmed in the Canary Islands

As reported on Saturday, Monkeypox is spreading in Spain, and today (Monday) the one suspected case in Gran Canaria has been confirmed. The Ministry of Health has also reported five other cases under investigation in the Canary Islands, three considered probable and two suspected.

Samples from the five patients have been sent to the Centro Nacional de Microbiología for confirmation but Sanidad says that they all, and the one confirmed case, are progressing favourably and are isolating at home.

Monkeypox is said to be spreading at an unusual pace, but is rarely fatal even though extremely uncomfortable, disturbing, and distressing. The incubation period ranges from 5 to 13 days, although it can sometimes be as long as 21 days. It also appears to be an “unusual” strain and its specific potential effects are still being studied, as is the increasing suspicion among virologists that the illness is airborne.

Monkeypox symptoms are flu-like, and there is a very distinctive rash often differing from most other rashes by vesicles (fluid-filled blister-like swellings), particularly on the hands. Anyone concerned should see a doctor as soon as possible and, epidemiologists say, keep wearing a mask wherever possible.

The UK are advising close contacts of anyone confirmed, or suspected, of having Monkeypox should isolate for 3 weeks, and the EU is asking member states to prepare a vaccine strategy as Denmark becomes the 16th country to report its first case.