Monkeypox creeping into Europe with new cases in Sweden

New cases of monkeypox virus infection have been reported in Sweden’s capital region of Stockholm following more reports of the pathogen's advent in Spain, Portugal and the UK.

“The infected individual is not seriously ill, albeit they remain under doctors’ care,” Klara Sonden of the Public Health Agency has said. The site of the infection remains unknown while an investigation is underway.

A sanitary alert was raised in Madrid on Thursday following the diagnosis of seven people with monkeypox.

The Agency has submitted a motion to the government for the classification of monkeypox as a disease “dangerous to the society.” This is to make reporting about new cases and isolation obligatory.

Monkeypox is an extremely rare zoonosis endemic to Africa where some rodents transmit it onto monkeys, which in turn pass it onto humans. It is difficult for the virus to spread among humans. In general, infections occur on close contact with an infected person, for instance, their body fluids such as saliva.

The EU’s European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reported similar infections in the UK and Portugal this spring.