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American with monkeypox flees Mexican hospital

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A file photo from 2001 shows a colored electron-microscopic capture of the monkeypox virus./AFP
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Jun 09, 2022 - 10:49 AM

Guadalajara, Mexico — A US citizen with monkeypox escaped from a hospital in a Mexican resort and fled the country, local health authorities said Wednesday.

The 48-year-old man, originally from Texas, fled the hospital in Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s Pacific coast last weekend despite having been told by medical staff that he should be tested for monkeypox and kept in isolation, the state health department said in a statement.

When he arrived at the hospital, the patient had symptoms of “cough, chills, muscle pain and pustule-like lesions on his face, neck and trunk,” the agency said.

After fleeing the medical facility, the Texan then went to the hotel where he was staying with his partner and caught a flight out of Puerto Vallarta on June 4, before authorities were able to locate him.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed to Mexican authorities on Monday that the patient had returned to the United States where a test confirmed he had monkeypox.

Prior to arriving in Puerto Vallarta on May 27, the individual was in Berlin, Germany, between May 12 and 16, and subsequently in Dallas, Texas.

During his stay in Mexico, he attended parties at the Mantamar Beach Club in the resort town of Jalisco.

Health officials urged anyone who attended the club between May 27 and June 4 to monitor their health.

The World Health Organization said Wednesday that it was aware of more than 1,000 cases of monkeypox in countries where the disease is not endemic.

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