THE number of monkeypox cases in Spain rose over the weekend by 22 confirmed cases to 120, the Spanish health ministry said on Monday.

Spain now has the most confirmed cases in Europe followed by the United Kingdom with 106 and neighbouring Portugal where 74 cases have been confirmed.

Geographical Distribution Confirmed Cases Mpx Eu Eea Countries 25 May 2022 1
 Geographical distribution of confirmed cases of MPX in EU/EEA countries, as of 25 May 2022

The majority of cases within Spain have been detected in Madrid and are linked to an outbreak traced to a gay sauna in the capital. One woman has tested positive but all other cases confirmed in Spain are among men.

Another spike in cases is believed to stem from a Pride festival on Gran Canaria in Spain’s Canary Islands.

Protocol issue by health authorities require that those diagnosed with monkeypox self-isolate and wear face masks to stem the spread.

Although most of the known cases in Europe have been among men who have sex with men, experts are emphasising that it can be spread by any close bodily contact.

Spain’s LGBTQ community has expressed fears that the recent outbreaks of monkeypox could lead to an increase in homophobic sentiment based on misunderstandings of the disease.

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