Ecuador confirms first case of monkeypox

QUITO, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Ecuador's Public Health Ministry on Wednesday confirmed the country's first case of monkeypox, in a 30-year-old man who lives in the southwest coastal province of Guayas.

The National Institute of Public Health Research carried out the tests confirming the virus after the patient displayed characteristic symptoms such as fever, malaise and skin lesions resembling pimples or blisters.

"So far, the person is in stable condition and remains in isolation in Guayas, as do those he came into contact with," the ministry said in a statement.

Ecuador activated a nationwide health alert on May 22 to begin monitoring for the presence of monkeypox and announced its first suspected case five days later, though it was eventually ruled out.

Monkeypox, a zoonotic disease endemic in parts of Africa that has spread to other continents, is transmitted mainly through direct contact with infected blood or bodily fluids.