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Spain registers monkeypox death, first reported fatality in Europe

The current monkeypox outbreak is by far the biggest involving the virus, and it’s been designated by the World Health Organization as a global health emergency.

MADRID, Spain — Spain on Friday reported the death of a person from monkeypox, which Spanish media said was a first for the European Union nation. It's believed to be the first monkeypox-related death in Europe. 

Earlier on Friday, Brazil reports the first monkeypox-related death outside the African continent in the current outbreak, according to Reuters

In its latest report on the virus, Spain’s Health Ministry said 120 people had been admitted to the hospital so far with monkeypox and one had died. Spain’s state news agency Efe and other media outlets said it was the country's first monkeypox death.

The ministry gave no further details regarding the death. It said Spain had 4,298 people infected with the virus. Of that, some 3,500 cases were of men who had had sex with other men. Of the total, only 64 were women.

Experts suspect that monkeypox outbreaks in Europe and North America were ignited by sex at two raves in Belgium and Spain. The current outbreak is by far the biggest involving the virus, and it’s been designated by the World Health Organization as a global health emergency.

Meanwhile, top U.S. health officials say the country's outbreak can still be stopped despite rising case numbers and limited vaccine supplies. 

The Biden administration’s top health official pushed back Thursday against criticism about the pace of the response. The government announced plans to begin shipping another 780,000 shots this week. 

Health authorities in San Francisco, New York and other large cities say they still don't have enough shots to meet demand. But Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra says the federal government has provided vaccines, tests and drugs “well beyond” what is needed.

There were more than 4,600 reported monkeypox cases in the U.S. as of late Wednesday, according to the CDC, and federal officials expect those numbers to rise.

More than 99% of reported cases are in men and the vast majority of those are among men who reported sexual contact with other men, though health officials have stressed that anyone can catch the virus.

 

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