The Finland National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) reports a suspected monkeypox case in the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS).
An infection caused by a virus belonging to the orthopox group has been diagnosed in an adult male patient. Monkey and smallpox viruses are orthopoxviruses. Final confirmation of possible monkey pox infection will be obtained when sequencing of the sample is completed in the next few days. This would be the first case of monkeypox in Finland.
The infection was acquired on a journey to Europe. Those in close contact with the infected person have been traced and instructed to prevent the spread of the infection.
Monkeypox is not easily transmitted from person to person and often requires very close contact. Monkeypox is typically associated with a pimple or blistering rash for which there is no other explanatory cause. Other common symptoms of infection, such as fever or headache, may occur before the rash.
Treatment for monkeypox is symptomatic, and the disease usually resolves on its own within a few weeks. Serious illness is possible in those whose defenses are impaired due to other illness or medical treatment.
If those exposed to monkeys were vaccinated, a new generation of smallpox vaccines would be available, which are not currently available in Finland.
If you suspect you have been infected with monkeypox, contact your healthcare provider by telephone before seeking treatment.
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