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First case of monkeypox virus has been confirmed in east of Ireland

Another suspected case is being investigated as health officials await test results

No known case has been diagnosed in the Republic but experts predict an infection is extremely likely. Stock image

Eilish O'Regan and Ciara O'Loughlin

The first case of the monkeypox virus has been confirmed in the Republic of Ireland.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) said it was notified last night that a case of monkeypox has been confirmed in the east of the country.

In a statement, the Health Service Executive (HSE) said the person who has the virus in the east of the country has not been hospitalised.

The statement added: “The HPSC was notified last night of a confirmed case of monkeypox in Ireland, in the east of the country. This person has not been hospitalised. This was not unexpected following the presence of monkeypox cases in the UK and many European countries.

“Public Health is following up those who had close contact with the person with monkeypox while they were infectious. In order to maintain patient confidentiality, no further information about this person will be provided.

“A suspected case is also being investigated and test results are awaited. A public health risk assessment has been undertaken, and those who were in contact with the person are being advised on what to do in the event that they become ill.

“The case in Ireland comes after the reporting of more than two hundred other confirmed cases of monkeypox worldwide over recent weeks, including from the UK (with one case recently reported in Northern Ireland.”

Monkeypox is endemic in African countries but recently it has spread to non-endemic countries in Europe and the United States.

It causes symptoms such as fever, aches, and a distinctive bumpy rash.

There have been more than 200 confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox in around 10 countries where it wasn’t previously circulating.

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