Health authorities have confirmed five cases of infection with the Monkeypox virus, known as “monkey smallpox”, in Portugal and there are 20 more suspected cases. In a statement, the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) also added that all the cases were detected in the Lisbon and Tagus Valley region and are all male.

“In this month of May, more than 20 suspected cases of infection with the Monkeypox virus were identified, all in the Lisbon and Tagus Valley region, five of which have already been confirmed by the National Institute of Health Doutor Ricardo Jorge”.

The DGS also indicates that the cases are “mostly young” and “all male”, adding that the patients are “stable” and that they have “ulcerative lesions”.

Monkeypox virus, known as is a viral disease usually transmitted by touching or biting infected wild animals in West and Central Africa. “The disease is rare and, usually, does not spread easily among human beings”.

Symptoms include “ulcerative lesions, skin rash, palpable lymph nodes, possibly accompanied by fever, chills, headaches, muscle pain and tiredness”, so the DGS warns anyone who has these symptoms to seek “clinical advice” and to abstain from “direct physical contacts”.