Latvia gets first case of monkeypox

The first case of monkeypox has been confirmed in Latvia, the Disease Prevention and Control Center (SPKC) said on June 3.

The patient is an adult under 50 years of age and was infected while abroad in a European Union Member State. The symptoms of the disease are mild and the patient is under the supervision of a medical practitioner.

The SPKC is currently conducting an epidemiological investigation in relation to the first case of monkeypox detected in Latvia. The SPKC shall carry out a patient survey and organize the necessary measures, the center indicated.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) monkeypox is a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although it is clinically less severe.

Monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease with the symptoms lasting from 2 to 4 weeks. Severe cases can occur. In recent times, the case fatality ratio has been around 3–6%. It is transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, or with material contaminated with the virus. This can include close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding.

Monkeypox typically presents clinically with fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes and may lead to a range of medical complications

Jurijs Perevoščikovs, epidemiologist at the SPKC, said at a briefing that though contact persons, if contacted by SPKC, should keep an eye on their health and contact their GP in case of symptoms, there will not be any requirements for quarantining like it was with Covid-19. The disease spreads slowly and requires close contact with the infected person, he said.

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