In first, woman in Israel diagnosed with monkeypox

Health Ministry says 233 people have tested positive for virus in Israel since outbreak began in May, as UN health body reports global drop in cases

This image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) shows a colorized transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox particles (red) found within an infected cell (blue), cultured in the laboratory at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. (NIAID via AP)
This image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) shows a colorized transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox particles (red) found within an infected cell (blue), cultured in the laboratory at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. (NIAID via AP)

A woman has been diagnosed with monkeypox in Israel for the first time since the recent outbreak of the virus in the country, the Health Ministry said on Sunday.

The ministry said the woman was diagnosed after she came into close contact with a suspected case.

According to Health Ministry data, 233 people have been diagnosed with monkeypox since the virus arrived in the country in May, while 2,700 people have been vaccinated against it.

Around 5,000 vaccines have arrived so far, and Israel is expected to receive 5,000 more in the coming weeks. As cases have been almost exclusively among men who have sex with men, vaccines have so far only been eligible to those in this demographic who are considered at the highest risk.

Last Thursday, the World Health Organization reported a 21 percent decrease in the number of monkeypox cases reported worldwide, reversing a month-long trend of rising infections and signaling that Europe’s outbreak may be waning.

The UN health agency tallied 5,907 new weekly cases and said two countries, Iran and Indonesia, reported their first cases. To date, more than 45,000 cases have been reported in 98 countries since late April.

An Israeli man receives a vaccine against monkeypox, administered by Maccabi Healthcare Services. (Maccabi Healthcare Services)

Monkeypox is characterized by a rash that can look like pimples or blisters, from which the virus can be transmitted, normally through skin-to-skin contact.

The WHO declared the recent outbreak of the virus a global health emergency in July, labeling it an “extraordinary event.”

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

Most Popular
read more: