Norway’s public health institute FHI has launched infection tracking efforts after a visitor who was in the country earlier this month was confirmed with a case of monkey pox. The wart-like skin disease has been spreading unusually beyond its roots in West and Central Africa.
“The person visited Oslo from May 6-10 and had symptoms while here, but the (monkey pox) infection was first confirmed upon arrival back home,” FHI wrote in a press release during the weekend. The “person” was not identified now was his or her home revealed.
City officials and FHI (Folkehelseinstituttet) have since been trying to chart who may have also been exposed to the disease, which is rarely fatal but causes fever and rashes similar to chicken pox. It has recently reappeared in the UK, Spain, Portugal and several other European countries, along with Canada, the US and Australia. FHI reported that it’s the first time transmission chains have been reported in Europe where those infected have not been in areas of Africa where the disease is found, or been in contact with other infected people.
“It’s unusual for so many cases to be reported among those not travelling to West Africa,” stated Siri Feruglio of FHI. “We’re following the situation closely.”