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Italy confirms and isolates 3 cases of monkeypox
Rome - 20 May 2022
1. Spallanzani hospital exteriors
2. Doctors chatting with journalists
3. News conference starting
4. SOUNDBITE (Italian) Francesco Vaia, director of Spallanzani hospital:
"Three people are currently hospitalized at the Spallanzani Institute with a confirmed infection by the monkeypox virus, a virus known as the monkeypox virus, even if we say improperly called so because for the first time it manifested in monkeys. These are three young men who did not report contact with each other, although, and therefore the correlation would be physical, let's say geographical, two of them report a recent trip to the Canaries, so presumably that's where this correlation can be from, for two of them, where a case of this disease was recently reported. All three people are in good health conditions. Only one has had a short-term fever and all have an enlargement of some of the lymph glands that appear painful and the appearance of a limited number of small skin pustules located in the body. These people are treated with symptomatic therapy, currently sufficient for their symptoms. At the institute, however, antiviral drugs are available that could be used on an experimental basis if specific therapy is necessary. This is something we want to say clearly: at present, this is not the case, there is no such gravity."
5. Journalists and doctors leaving
6. Exterior of hospital
Italian health authorities on Friday confirmed and isolated three cases of monkeypox at the Spallanzani infectious disease hospital in Rome.
Two of the patients had travelled to the Canary Islands, and one to Vienna. Authorities were in turn tracing their contacts, numbering about a dozen each.
All three patients sought treatment at Spallanzani, one with high fever and two for skin rashes and inflamed glands.
The director of the Spallanzani hospital, Francesco Vaia, said they have experimental anti-viral drugs to use in case of necessity. All are in fair condition.
As more cases of monkeypox are detected in Europe and North America, scientists who have monitored numerous outbreaks in Africa say they are baffled by the unusual disease's spread in the West.
Cases of the smallpox-related disease haven't previously been seen among people with no links to central and West Africa. But in the past week, Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the United States, Sweden and Canada all reported infections, mostly in young men who hadn't traveled to Africa.
On Friday, France, Germany, Belgium and Australia all confirmed their first cases of monkeypox.
One of the theories British health officials are exploring is whether the disease is being sexually transmitted.
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