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Belgium records first monkeypox death

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Belgium has recorded its first death of a patient suffering from monkeypox, the third in Europe, according to the weekly report on the outbreak from the Sciensano public health institute.

Europe and the United States are the hotspots of a global outbreak of the disease which has seen 50,496 cases and 16 deaths, according to the World Health Organisation.

The WHO triggered its highest level of alarm on July 24, classifying monkeypox as a public health emergency of international concern, alongside Covid-19.

In Belgium, as elsewhere, cases have been concentrated among men who have sex with men. At the end of August the country of 11.5 million people had recorded 706 cases, 32 of them requiring hospitalisation.

Belgium’s first death was a monkeypox patient with “underlying medical conditions”, the Sciensano report said.

The disease causes painful and scarring lesions, principally to the face, anus and genitals.