Austria’s first case of monkeypox confirmed, Vienna health authority says

VIENNA— Austria’s first case of monkeypox has been confirmed, Vienna’s health authority said after reporting the case as suspected.

“Suspected case of pox viruses confirmed,” the health authority , adding that the male patient had tested positive for the viruses and given his symptoms it was safe to assume it was monkeypox. He was taken to a city hospital on Sunday with fever and skin lesions, it said.

It comes as US president Joe Biden said that recent cases of monkeypox which have been identified in Europe and the United States are something “to be concerned about”.

In his first public comments on the disease, Biden added: “It is a concern in that if it were to spread it would be consequential.”

Meanwhile, a senior doctor in the UK has warned Monkeypox is spreading through community transmission.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has confirmed 20 cases of the disease in the UK with nine other countries outside of Central and West Africa also reporting outbreaks.

There are no known monkeypox cases in Ireland at present.

The disease, which was first found in monkeys, can be transmitted from person to person through close physical contact – including sexual intercourse – and is caused by the monkeypox virus.

Asked if people will need to get vaccinated for the infection, Dr Susan Hopkins, a chief medical adviser for UKHSA, said: “There is no direct vaccine for monkeypox but we are using a form of smallpox vaccine – a third-generation, smallpox vaccine that’s safe in individuals who are contacts of cases.

“So, we’re not using it in the general population.

There have been thousands of human infections in parts of Central and Western Africa in recent years but it is rare in Europe and North America.

Most people recover within several weeks and monkeypox has only been fatal in rare cases.

The World Health Organization said there were 92 confirmed cases of the disease in countries where monkeypox is not endemic.