The number of monkeypox cases has skyrocketed in the Iberian Peninsula on Friday, with Spain now having confirmed a total of 98 cases and Portugal another 74.
The Health Ministry also reported the first monkeypox case in a woman in Spain.
According to the authorities, she was directly related to the chain of transmission.
Moreover, Spain has tested 200 individuals for the virus, but 102 samples have come back negative.
Spanish Health Minister Carolina Darias said earlier this week that all of the cases in Spain were minor.
Many of the illnesses in Spain have been linked to two spreader events: a Madrid bathhouse and a Canary Islands gay pride festival.
On May 18, Portugal reported its first cases of the virus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced earlier on Friday that around 200 cases of monkeypox had been confirmed in more than 20 countries as part of the ongoing worldwide outbreak.
The United Kingdom has the most number of confirmed infections – 101.
“The preliminary sequencing of the virus shows that the strain is not different from the strains we may find in endemic nations,” said Sylvie Briand, director of the WHO’s Pandemic and Epidemic Diseases Department. “This outbreak is probably due more to a change in human behaviour,” she added.
It’s the first time the virus has been seen in a community. Cases had previously been connected to travel to endemic regions of the virus or imported animals bearing the virus.
The majority of new cases have spread through sex, with a concentration among men who have sex with other men. The World Health Organization, on the other hand, has warned that anyone could get the infection. Children, pregnant women, and the immunocompromised are thought to be especially vulnerable.
“Anybody who has close contact with someone who is infectious is at risk,” a release on the WHO’s website said Wednesday.