The European office of the World Health Organization warned that more deaths from monkeypox could be expected after the first deaths were reported outside of Africa.
“As monkeypox continues to spread in Europe, we expect to see more deaths,” WHO head of European emergencies Catherine Smallwood said in a statement.
Smallwood stressed that the goal should be to “quickly stop transmission in Europe and stop the outbreak,” but nevertheless emphasized that in most cases, patients recover without the need for treatment.
“Reports of deaths from monkeypox do not change our assessment of the outbreak in Europe,” she said. “We know that while most cases of monkeypox clear up on their own, it can cause serious complications.”
In context, she pointed out that serious complications of the disease are still rare.
She explained that “reasons patients may typically require hospitalization include pain management, treatment of secondary infections and, in a small number of cases, the need to treat life-threatening complications such as encephalitis.”
And Spain’s health ministry recorded a second death linked to monkeypox on Saturday, a day after Spain and Brazil announced the first two deaths, and the deaths are believed to be the first linked to the outbreak outside of Africa.
Spanish authorities have not disclosed the exact cause of death pending autopsy results, while Brazilian authorities have confirmed that the deceased man was being treated for a serious illness.
The World Health Organization says more than 18,000 cases have been reported worldwide since early May outside of Africa, most of them in Europe.
Last week, the WHO declared the monkeypox outbreak a global health emergency.
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