Alaskapox Symptoms (Representational Image)
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An elderly man from Alaska has become the first person to die after contracting Alaska Pox – a recently discovered viral disease. The man from the Kenai Peninsula, in the state’s south, died in a hospital in late January, officials revealed.
Officials stated the victim’s exposure to the virus was “unclear” – however he had reported caring for a stray cat at home that had scratched him, perhaps triggering the transmission.
He had a history of drug-induced immune system weakness, which most likely contributed to the severity of his condition, according to the Alaskan Health Department.
The victim was one of only seven documented Alaskapox infections, the first of which occurred in 2015 in an adult who had a localized rash and swollen lymph nodes.
All prior individuals diagnosed with the virus, including those from the Fairbanks region, did not require treatment and only developed minor illnesses.
Alaskapox, or AKPV, is a double-stranded DNA virus that appears to be zoonotic, spreading predominantly among Alaska’s state animals but sometimes infecting people.
Symptoms include one or more skin lesions, enlarged lymph nodes, and muscular ache.
Officials claimed the man’s exposure to the virus was “unclear,” although he had reported caring for a stray cat at home that had scratched him, perhaps triggering the transmission.
The victim saw a red lump in his armpit in September and was given antibiotics, but his symptoms deteriorated, including exhaustion and increasing discomfort in the region and shoulder.
After his right arm’s range of motion was compromised, the guy was sent to a hospital in Anchorage, where he reported further symptoms, including pox-like lesions, according to the case report.
While his health improved after one week of therapy, he quickly had delayed wound healing, respiratory and renal failure, which led to his death.
According to the notice, the man improved approximately a week after receiving intravenous drugs, but died in late January from renal failure and other systemic decreases.
The report said that the APKV warranted “increased statewide awareness” among clinicians because to its apparent extensive transmission in small animals.
It made nine advice to persons with suspected Alaskapox, including not handling lesions, keeping them dry and covered, and practicing hand hygiene.