Following the reports of the first fatalities outside Africa – one in Spain and two in Brazil- the European office of the World Health Organization said on Saturday that more monkeypox-related deaths can be expected.
Catherine Smallwood, a senior emergency officer at WHO Europe, said that the goal needs to be to quickly interrupt transmission in Europe and stop the outbreak but noted that the notification of deaths due to monkeypox does not change their assessment of the outbreak in Europe.
She stressed, however, that severe complications of the virus – which is self-limiting in most cases- are still rare and in most cases, the disease passes without the need for treatment.
A day after Spain and Brazil reported their first fatalities, the first deaths linked to the current monkeypox outbreak outside Africa, the Spanish Health Ministry recorded a second monkeypox-related death on Saturday
Pending the outcome of an autopsy, the Spanish authorities gave no specific cause of death for the fatalities while the Brazilian authorities said that the man who died had a weakened immune system and suffered from lymphoma, among other diseases.
The WHO, which recorded more than 18,000 cases – the majority of them in Europe – throughout the world outside of Africa since the beginning of May, last week declared the monkeypox outbreak a global health emergency.
Meanwhile, investors are snapping up shares of companies that could benefit from the race to stop the monkeypox outbreak as health authorities search for ways to quell the disease.
The Danish drugmaker Bavarian Nordic’s smallpox vaccine – Jynneos in the US and Imvanex in Europe – has been found to protect against monkeypox and is the only one approved specifically to ward off the infection.
The value of Bavarian Nordic’s shares has more than tripled from a low in May and the firm has raised its revenue guidance several times this year.