Alaska confirms first death from Alaskapox virus


(MENAFN) An elderly man from Alaska has succumbed to Alaskapox, becoming the first known fatality from the recently identified viral disease. Officials confirmed that the man, a resident of the Kenai Peninsula in the southern part of the state, passed away in late January while receiving medical care in a hospital.

According to reports from the Alaskan health department, the deceased individual had a history of a drug-induced weakened immune system, which likely exacerbated the severity of his illness. This underlying condition may have contributed to the complications he experienced.

The victim's case is among a total of seven reported instances of Alaskapox infections. The first recorded case dates back to 2015 when an adult from the Fairbanks region exhibited symptoms of a localized rash and swollen lymph nodes. Notably, all previous patients diagnosed with the virus, also from the Fairbanks area, experienced only mild infections and did not require medical treatment.

Alaskapox, also known as AKPV, is characterized as a double-stranded DNA virus. Authorities suggest that it is zoonotic in nature, primarily circulating among Alaska's native mammal populations but occasionally transmitting to humans.

Common symptoms associated with Alaskapox infections include the presence of one or more skin lesions, swollen lymph nodes, and muscle pain. As health officials continue to monitor and study the virus, awareness of its transmission and symptoms remains crucial for early detection and treatment.

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