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Health

What is Alaskapox? Man’s death is first fatal case of rare new virus

The first fatal case of a rare and newly identified viral disease has claimed the life of a man who lived in a remote area of ​​south-central Alaska, state officials confirmed.

According to a bulletin released last week by Alaska public health officials, an elderly man who lived on the Kenai Peninsula — about 70 miles south of Anchorage — died last month after developing a rash. burning skin and being hospitalized for Alaskapox, also known as AKPV.

As of the 2020 census, the peninsula’s population was just under 59,000, down from around 55,000 people in 2010.

Closely related to monkeypox, Alaskapox is carried primarily by small mammals, including red-backed voles. Since 2015, at least seven confirmed cases of the virus have been reported to the state epidemiology section.

None of the people who contracted the virus had recently traveled outside the United States, health experts said, and no cases had been identified outside of Alaska as of the bulletin’s release.

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