Turkey records first case of monkeypox - health minister

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Test tubes labeled "Monkeypox virus positive and negative" are seen in this illustration taken May 23, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

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ISTANBUL, June 30 (Reuters) - Turkey has detected its first case of monkeypox in a 37-year-old patient who is in isolation, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Thursday.

The virus has been identified in more than 50 new countries outside the countries in Africa where it is endemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) says cases are also rising in those countries, calling for testing to be ramped up.

"Monkeypox has been detected in one of our patients. The patient is 37 years old and has an immune system deficiency," Koca wrote on Twitter.

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He said the patient was in isolation and contact follow-up had been conducted, with no other case found.

There have been more than 3,400 cases of monkeypox, and one death, since the outbreak began in May, largely in Europe among men who have sex with men, according to a WHO tally. There have also been more than 1,500 cases and 66 deaths in countries this year where it more usually spreads. read more

Last week, the WHO ruled that the outbreak did not yet represent a public health emergency, its highest level of alert.

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Reporting by Daren Butler; Editing by Ali Kucukgocmen abd Toby Chopra

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