The first possible case of monkeypox virus on the Costa del Sol is currently being investigated, in a foreign resident who has recently been travelling in several countries. He is self-isolating at home, waiting for confirmation of whether or not he has the illness.
The incubation period for monkeypox virus is from six to 13 days, although on occasions it can be up to three weeks. In Spain there are seven confirmed cases at present, all in Madrid, and another 29 suspected cases. The illness has also been detected in London and Lisbon.
Monkeypox virus is of animal origin and is similar to smallpox and secondary syphilis. It is not common and is usually associated with people who have visited West Africa. Symptoms are normally mild and infection is transmitted through very close contact with fluids and mucous.
The initial symptoms are similar to those of smallpox, but less severe, including fever, headache, muscular pain, back pain, swollen lymph glands, shivering and exhaustion. There may be a rash, which usually starts on the face and then extends to other parts of the body, including the genitals. The rash changes and goes through different stages before forming a scab which eventually falls off.