Iran announces first official case of monkeypox: 34-year-old woman tests positive

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Iranian authorities announced Tuesday the first case of monkeypox in the country, the official IRNA news agency reported.

The report said health authorities quarantined a 34-year-old woman living in the southwestern city of Ahvaz.

Pedram Pakaeen, health ministry spokesperson, said the patient and her family members informed doctors after she developed symptoms on the skin of her hands.

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Monkeypox spreads when people have close, physical contact with an infected person’s lesions, their clothing or bedsheets. Sexual contact may amplify transmission.

A colorized transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox particles (red) found within an infected cell (blue), cultured in the laboratory that was captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility.  The official IRNA news agency announced the first case of monkeypox in Iran. The report said health authorities quarantined a 34-year-old woman living in the southwestern city of Ahvaz.

A colorized transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox particles (red) found within an infected cell (blue), cultured in the laboratory that was captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility.  The official IRNA news agency announced the first case of monkeypox in Iran. The report said health authorities quarantined a 34-year-old woman living in the southwestern city of Ahvaz. (NIAID via AP, File)

Most people recover from monkeypox without needing treatment, but the lesions can be extremely painful. More severe cases can result in complications including brain inflammation and death.

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Globally, there have been more than 31,000 cases of monkeypox reported in nearly 90 countries. Last month, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak to be a global emergency.

Monkeypox is not a totally new disease but one that has been known since at least the 1970s and has been a serious challenge in Africa for years.

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With only a limited global supply of vaccines, authorities are racing to stop the spread of the disease.

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