In Spain, the first death was reported on Friday 29 July in the north-eastern Valencia region – with local media sources reporting the cause of death as encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain associated with the virus. The second death, reported just hours after the first, was recorded by the Spanish health ministry on Saturday 30 July.
In Brazil, a 41-year-old man died of septic shock in a hospital in Belo Horizonte, in the southeast of the country, due to conditions aggravated by the virus. The man reportedly suffered from lymphoma and a weakened immune system, which ‘aggravated his condition’.
While the three deaths outside Africa remain significant, the figure is currently much smaller than the number of suspected deaths within the continent – so far 75 suspected deaths have been reported, primarily in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
These latest deaths come after the World Health Organization (WHO) labelled the ongoing monkeypox outbreak as a ‘public health emergency of international concern’ (PHEIC) on 23 July.
Over 21,000 cases of the virus have been reported across almost 80 countries since May, including 4,298 infections in Spain – European country with the highest number of cases in Europe.
The disease is spread via close contact and is characterised by flu-like symptoms and pus-filled skin lesions. The global risk of the virus is deemed to be ‘moderate’, except in Europe where the WHO has classified the risk as ‘high’.