The Ministry of Health of Ukraine confirmed the country's first case of monkeypox on Thursday. 

In an official statement, the patient tested positive for the disease after the ministry's Regional Center for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a polymerase chain reaction test (PCR) and a mild course of the disease was identified. He is already under medical supervision and is getting inpatient treatment.

According to the preliminary result of the epidemiological history, the patient was exposed to one of the cities in the country that is infected by the aforementioned virus. The area of registration of the case, however, was not disclosed to protect the patient’s identity.

Symptoms of the disease like high temperature and body rash were detected, although the patient said he does not recall any exposure to other monkeypox patients nor did he travel abroad.

“We will remind you that monkeypox is a smallpox-like disease caused by viruses of the poxvirus family. It is similar to smallpox, but has a lower lethality and milder symptoms,” the ministry said in the statement.

The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970. This year, however, cases of the virus have been detected in several central and western African countries as well as in the US and Europe, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported.

Currently, there are three monkeypox vaccines available in the world, but the supplies are very limited.

The ministry mentioned that the occurrence of symptoms may vary per person.

“Sometimes people develop a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Some may only have a rash. The illness usually lasts from two to four weeks,” the CDC noted.

The virus can be transmitted from one person to another and requires direct physical contact that would result in an infectious rash. Among other symptoms are fever, headache, muscle pain, backache, enlarged lymph nodes, chills, sore throat, nasal congestion and cough.

The ministry urged the public to disinfect regularly especially before eating, after visiting the bathroom and before touching one’s face. They also encouraged people to seek medical attention as soon as symptoms of monkeypox appear.

A photograph shows doses of Imvanex vaccine used to protect against Monkeypox virus A photograph shows doses of Imvanex vaccine used to protect against Monkeypox virus at the Edison municipal vaccination center in Paris on July 27, 2022. - French government announced on July 25, 2022 to mobilize "additional arms" to vaccinate against monkeypox, at a time when elected officials and associations denounce the lack of means to curb the outbreak of the disease. Photo by Alain Jocard/POOL/AFP via Getty Images