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Israel becomes latest country to report monkeypox case

An electron microscope image shows monkeypox virions (Cynthia S Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP)
An electron microscope image shows monkeypox virions (Cynthia S Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP)

Israeli authorities said they have detected the country’s first case of monkeypox in a man who returned from abroad.

Officials also said they are looking into other suspected cases.

Israel’s Health Ministry said the man is in a Tel Aviv hospital in a good condition. It called on anyone returning from abroad with fever and lesions to see a doctor.

Sharon Alroy-Preis, the head of public health services at the ministry, told Israeli Army Radio that medical teams are investigating other suspected monkeypox cases.

Israel’s case appeared to be the first identified in the Middle East.

The World Health Organisation has identified about 80 cases globally, and roughly 50 more suspected cases.

Cases of the smallpox-related disease have previously been seen only among people with links to central and West Africa.

But Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the US, Sweden and Canada have all reported infections, mostly in young men who had not previously travelled to Africa.

France, Germany, Belgium and Australia have also identified cases.

The virus originates in primates and other wild animals and causes fever, body aches, chills and fatigue in most patients.

People with severe cases can develop a rash and lesions on the face, hands and other parts of the body.