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US soldier in Germany has military’s first monkeypox case

An active-duty service member based in Germany has the first known case of monkeypox, the US military has announced.

“We can confirm that a duty service member from the Stuttgart military community recently tested positive for monkeypox,” Navy Capt. William Speaks, a spokesperson for the U.S. European Command, said in a statement Friday, NBC News reported.

The soldier, who was not identified, was treated at the Stuttgart Army Health clinic and is currently in isolation in their quarters on-base, officials said.

“Public Health Officials have determined that the risk to the overall population is very low,” Speaks added. “As a precautionary measure, contact tracing is being done for clinic staff who interacted with the patient. The case in Stuttgart is of the West African strain, which is generally mild and human-to-human transmission is limited.”

The first monkeypox case in a human was diagnosed in 1970. Monkeypox belongs to the same group of viruses as smallpox.

The fatality risk of the strain of monkeypox found in the US and Europe is reportedly very low.
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The strain of monkeypox that has been reported in the U.S. and Europe has had a 1 percent fatality rate in the past, according to the World Health Organization.

Monkeypox is spread mainly by direct contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids or scabs, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can also be spread via sex or through contaminated materials like bed linen or clothing.

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