Monkeypox arrives in Poland

Daniel Irungu/PAP/EPA

The first case of monkeypox, a disease that has been spreading across the world for several weeks now, has been detected in Poland, the health minister has said.

This relatively rare disease occurs mostly in central and west African countries and is caused by the monkeypox virus, a member of the same family of viruses as smallpox. However, it is far less severe and infectious than its deadly relative.

Adam Niedzielski said on Friday that Poland had detected 10 suspicious cases and, so far, one had been confirmed as monkeypox.

"June 10 is the day that we've detected the first case," Niedzielski said.

Wojciech Andrusiewicz, the health ministry's spokesman, said that the patient was in isolation in a hospital.

Later in the day, it was announced that the patient was being treated at the Hospital for Infectious Diseases in Warsaw.

Monkeypox symptoms include fever, headache and rash. Cases of the disease have been appearing across Western Europe as well as the United States, Canada and Australia.

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