BUENOS AIRES ( Associated Press) — An Argentine who was on a trip to Spain is the first confirmed case of monkeypox in Latin America, where other countries remain on alert for the possible arrival of the disease.
The patient is a native of the province of Buenos Aires and was traveling in Spain until May 16. According to the Ministry of Health, he is in good condition and in isolation while his close contacts have been subjected to strict epidemiological control.
The result of the PCR amplification reaction of the sample taken from the man was positive, “which confirms infection with Poxviruses belonging to the Eurasian-African group of the Orthopox genus,” the ministry said in a statement.
The growing suspicion that he suffered from the disease was due to a first analysis carried out days ago by the Department of Virology of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases ANLIS “Dr. Carlos G. Malbran”.
On the other hand, the authorities are studying whether a resident of Spain who arrived in Argentina on Wednesday suffers from the disease. According to the ministry, the person visiting the province of Buenos Aires is in good condition and has no connection to the first confirmed case. His close contacts are under clinical follow-up.
The suspected case presents ulcerative lesions with no other associated symptoms.
Several Latin American countries are closely following the situation in Argentina for fear that the virus will reach their territories.
The Bolivian government declared an epidemiological alert on Wednesday after Argentina reported the suspected case. Two days earlier, the National Institute of Health of Colombia reported that it was monitoring people who would have had contact with a Spanish citizen traveling in the country because it was possible that during his visit he was in “the incubation period, totally asymptomatic.” .
Nearly 200 cases of monkeypox have been reported in more than 20 countries that usually do not have outbreaks of the disease, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Spain, Portugal, Italy, the United States and Australia, among others, have reported cases of this disease transmitted from animals such as rodents and primates to humans.
Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and a severe chickenpox-like skin rash.
Infection occurs through direct contact with blood, body fluids, skin lesions, or mucous membranes of infected animals.