Northern Exposure: Fatal ‘Alaskapox’ Infection Reported Near Anchorage
February 12, 2024 | Tags: ZEROHEDGENorthern Exposure: Fatal 'Alaskapox' Infection Reported Near Anchorage
Alaska health officials have documented the first fatal case of Alaskapox virus (also known as "AKPV") in an elderly man from the Kenai Peninsula, located just south of Anchorage. He passed away in late January, prompting concerns among officials that the virus' transmission may be more extensive than previously thought.
According to the Alaska Section of Epidemiology bulletin published on Friday, the immunocompromised man first noticed a tender red bump in his right armpit in mid-September. In the following weeks, he consulted with medical professionals as the lesion worsened, leading to hospitalization in November due to an extensive infection that inhibited mobility of his arm.
The bulletin explained the man's health improved late in the year after treatment with intravenous medications, but he abruptly died in late January after experiencing kidney failure.
"Seven AKPV infections to date have been reported to the Alaska Section of Epidemiology (SOE). Until December 2023, all reported infections occurred in residents of the Fairbanks area and involved self-limiting illness consisting of a localized rash and lymphadenopathy," the bulletin noted.
"People should not necessarily be concerned but more aware," said Julia Rogers, a state epidemiologist who co-authored the bulletin.
Rogers continued: "So we're hoping to make clinicians more aware of what Alaskapox virus is, so that they can identify signs and symptoms."
The bulletin includes nine recommendations at the end. The first states:
"Clinicians should become familiar with the clinical features of Alaskapox and consider testing for orthopoxvirus infection in patients with a clinically compatible illness."
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Here's the full bulletin: