49 mpox cases detected since June 1, exceeding 1,000 cases in Portugal

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Forty-nine cases of mpox were detected in Portugal between June 1 and July 28, resulting from a new outbreak, according to data released by the Directorate-General for Health.

“This new outbreak is characterized by a different strain from the 2022 outbreak, reflecting the reintroduction of the virus in the highest risk group in Portugal and transmission chains enhanced in the context of summer events and festivals”, says the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) in a statement published on the website.

According to the DGS, all cases are men, mostly living in the Lisbon and Tagus Valley Region (38), aged between 22 and 55 years (median 34 years).

“Of the confirmed cases, 29 (74%) are men who have had sex with men,” the health authority said.

Considering the 21 days prior to the onset of symptoms, 17 (44%) cases reported attending saunas, 33 (85%) had sexual contacts with multiple partners and 18 (46%) participated in group and/or anonymous sex activities, some in the context of summer festivals; no cases reported traveling abroad”.

Since the beginning of the mpox outbreak in May 2022 and until July 28, 2023, 1002 laboratory-confirmed cases, including one death, were reported in Portugal, and since March 27, no new cases were reported in Portugal.

According to DGS data, 4,823 people were vaccinated between July 16, 2022 and July 28, 2023, most of them in the Lisbon and Tagus Valley region. Of the 8,009 inoculations, 7,054 occurred in a pre-exposure context.

In view of the resurgence of new cases in Portugal, the DGS reinforces the need to isolate cases and interrupt transmission chains between exposed people.

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