Israel detected its second case of monkeypox on Saturday, as the virus continued to make headway across the world.
The 30-year-old man is in a light condition and is currently isolating in his home, the Health Ministry said. He reported symptoms at Sheba Medical Center in central Israel after he returned from a trip abroad.
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Last Saturday, Israel logged its first case of the virus in a man in his 30s who recently returned from Western Europe.
Cases of the smallpox-related disease have previously been seen only among people with links to central and West Africa. But in the past week, Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy, U.S., Sweden and Canada all reported infections, mostly in young men who hadn’t previously traveled to Africa. France, Germany, Belgium and Australia confirmed their first cases of monkeypox on Friday.
Monkeypox is milder than smallpox, and is accompanied by flu-like symptoms, including fever and chills, as well as a rash of blisters appearing on the face or genitals. It is a viral disease which has so far been endemic to mainly Africa and is known to be less contagious in human-to-human transmission.
The World Health Organization also said on Saturday that nearly 200 cases of monkeypox have been reported in more than 20 countries not usually known to have outbreaks of the unusual disease, but described the epidemic as “containable” and proposed creating a stockpile to equitably share the limited vaccines and drugs available worldwide.
Israel has a large stock of vaccines against monkeypox, though the Health Ministry does not plan to launch a vaccination campaign or to try to halt the spread of the disease through contact tracing and isolation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.