Monday, August 8, 2022

Lebanon latest in Middle East to detect first case of monkeypox

BEIRUT ( Associated Press) – Lebanon’s health ministry said on Monday that authorities have detected monkeypox in the country’s first person who returned from abroad and is now in isolation at home.

The ministry said the person is stable and officials are tracking the person’s contacts. It did not provide further details.

Lebanon is the latest in the Middle East to join the countries with reported monkeypox cases; Israel and the United Arab Emirates identified their first cases of the disease in May. The announcement came as Lebanon was preparing for a busy summer season with hundreds of thousands of expatriates and tourists expected to arrive.

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The virus originates in primates and other wild animals and causes fever, body aches, chills and fatigue in most patients. People with severe cases may develop rashes and sores on the face, hands, and other parts of the body.

Smallpox-related illness, which first causes flu-like symptoms before progressing to a rash on the face and body, is commonly found in parts of Central and West Africa. But this year 1,880 infections have been recorded in more than 30 countries where monkeypox is not commonly found.

About 85% of cases were in Europe. No death has been reported.

The World Health Organization has said that people with monkeypox can be contagious for up to four weeks and has advised them to self-isolate until fully recovered.

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Lebanon is in the grip of the worst economic crisis in its modern history, and its medical sector is grappling with shortages of medicine and medical equipment. About 6 million people live in the country, including one million Syrian refugees.

Tens of thousands of Lebanese live in Africa.

Nation World News Desk
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