Understanding Alaskapox: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

2024-02-14 12:43:45

The Department of Health in the US state of Alaska announced the recording of the first death due to a recently discovered virus called Alaska pox (Alaskapox).

The man, who lived on the remote Kenai Peninsula, was hospitalized in November last year and died in late January, according to a health department bulletin issued last week.

The bulletin said the man was undergoing cancer treatment and had a weakened immune system, which may have contributed to the worsening of his condition.

The man noticed unusual blisters on his right armpit last September, according to Alaska health officials who spoke to TIME about the case. He then underwent treatment with antibiotics at a local emergency room, but the condition worsened and he was transferred to a hospital in Anchorage.

Doctors sent a sample to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Alaska smallpox result came back positive.

After initially improving, the man’s health deteriorated, and he eventually developed kidney failure and died.

Alaskan smallpox was first reported in a man in the Fairbanks area, Alaska, in 2015, and since then 6 additional cases have been reported, all among residents of the same area, and all patients, without the last case, had relatively mild symptoms of the rash. The lymph nodes swelled and recovered without treatment.

Infectious disease experts studied small mammals in the area and found that four species, including voles, squirrels and other rodents, were infected with the virus, which likely caused the cases.

The latest case is “the first serious case of Alaskan smallpox in Alaska, the first case involving an immunocompromised person, the first case that required hospitalization, and the first case that ultimately led to death,” according to Joseph McLaughlin, an epidemiologist and official in the health sector. In Alaska.

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#death #smallpox #Alaska. #transmitted #humans

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