Tel Aviv, Israel (AP) — Israeli authorities said they had discovered the first case of monkey chickenpox in a man returning from abroad and are investigating other suspected cases.
Israel’s health ministry said the man was admitted to a Tel Aviv hospital late Saturday and is in good condition. Anyone returning from abroad with fever and lesions is urged to see a doctor.
Health Minister Sharon Alroy-Preis told Israeli Army Radio on Sunday that medical teams are investigating other cases of suspected monkey pox.
The Israeli case appears to be the first confirmed case in the Middle East.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed about 80 cases worldwide, and about 50 more suspected cases.
Cases of smallpox-related disease have previously only been seen in people associated with Central and West Africa. However, infections have all been reported in the UK, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the US, Sweden and Canada. It mainly occurs in young people who have never traveled to Africa before. Cases have also been confirmed in France, Germany, Belgium and Australia.
The virus originates in primates and other wild animals and causes fever, body aches, chills, and fatigue in most patients. In severe cases, rashes and lesions may develop on the face, hands, and other parts of the body.