Ecuador's monkeypox cases climb to 19

By EElenaUnreguser

QUITO, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- Ecuador has detected three new cases of monkeypox, bringing the total number of national cases to 19, Minister of Public Health Jose Ruales said Tuesday.

"We have no hospitalized or severe cases. All are mildly ill and under home supervision while we conduct contact tracing," the official said at a press conference.

One of the latest cases involves a 29-year-old woman who became the first female to come down with the viral disease in the South American country, Ruales said.

Cases have been detected in seven of Ecuador's 24 provinces, including Guayas, Santa Elena, Los Rios, El Oro, Azuay, Canar and Pichincha, where the capital Quito is located.

In three cases, infection was likely transmitted between family members, and "in the remainder of cases we have not found a relationship," said Ruales, adding "we know that the initial transmission took place abroad or through contact with a foreigner."

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