Italy confirms two more monkeypox infections, brings total cases to three

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A general view of Lazzaro Spallanzani infectious diseases hospital on the day of the first human trials of an Italian-developed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, with doses administered to 90 volunteers over 7 months, in Rome, Italy, August 24, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

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MILAN, May 20 (Reuters) - Italy on Friday confirmed two more cases of monkeypox infection at the Spallanzani hospital in Rome, bringing the total cases to three so far in the country.

The Lazio region health commissioner Alessio D'Amato said in a statement that the two other suspected infections related to the first detected case had now been confirmed.

The Spallanzani hospital said on Thursday that the first patient with monkeypox, a mild viral infection whose symptoms include fever, headaches as well as a distinctive bumpy rash, had come back to Italy from a stay on the Canary islands. read more

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Several other cases of monkeypox have recently been reported in countries outside of Africa, where most infections had been detected so far. read more

Andrea Antinori, a doctor at the hospital, which specialises in infectious diseases, said in a news conference that many of the cases reported in Europe had originated through human-to-human transmission.

"Our cases confirm this trend," he said, adding that it was too early to say if the illness could be defined as a sexually transmitted disease.

D'Amato said during the news conference that each detected case had come into contact with about 10 people, so screening would concern 30 contacts.

There are two main strains: the Congo strain, which is more severe – with up to 10% mortality – and the West African strain, which has a fatality rate of about 1%.

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Reporting by Federico Maccioni; Editing by Alison Williams

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