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Israel confirms first monkeypox case

Close-up of a patient's hands, on black background, showing lesions from the monkeypox virus, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1997. [Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images]
Close-up of a patient's hands, on black background, showing lesions from the monkeypox virus, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1997. [Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images]

Israel on Saturday reported its first confirmed case of monkeypox, which officials expected would be contained, Reuters reports.

The case is a man in his 30s who had returned from a trip in western Europe, according to the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center – Ichilov, where he is quarantined and in mild condition.

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said a few hundred vaccines, mainly for medical staff treating potential patients, may be purchased in order to prevent further infection. "This is not a pandemic, it's nothing like coronavirus," he told N12 News.

He did not give details of the vaccine but the smallpox vaccine can also protect against monkeypox.

Monkeypox is an infectious disease that is usually mild, and is endemic in parts of west and central Africa. It is spread by close contact, which means it can be relatively easily contained through such measures as self-isolation and hygiene once a new case is identified.

The recent outbreak in more than 10 other countries where it is not endemic is highly unusual, according to scientists. More than 100 confirmed or suspected cases have been reported, most of them in Europe.

READ: Israel back on WHO polio 'outbreak countries' list, following increase in cases

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